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Yin Yin Post #5: Observing and Adjusting Students’ Postures

One of my favourite YTT classes so far at Yoga Mandala has been observing our bodies and
helping each other adjust our postures. It has been a highlight because:

1) It has taught me to be super observant of others’ bodies. To be teachers, we have
to put the students’ needs first. This means that we have to observe our students’
bodies, understand their strengths and weakness, and help them adjust their poses
accordingly. Jess, our teacher, was very helpful in pointing out the various parts of
the body to observe. I was surprised to learn there are so many nuances of the body to
look out for. Ex. Are the students’ shoulders even? Is there a hunch? Is there a flat
back? Understanding these signals allows me to come up with poses that are best
suited for their bodies.

2) It has taught me the importance of tailoring communication to the audience.
After you identify parts of the student’s body that needs adjusting, the next part is
actually communicating to the student on how to adjust. The students need to

understand why they’re doing these specific poses, and it’s the role of the teacher to
provide that context. I found this part to be the most challenging because the
instructions that make sense to me don’t necessarily resonate in the same way to
someone else. I found that at times when I provide instructions, the student actually
did the opposite of what I had originally intended for them to do. This was super

The two lessons above have been the most valuable: build empathy for the student and
communicate the why.

Ou Yin Yin
July’19 Weekend YTT