Yoga Manipulations Gone Wacky

Yoga “Stuff Happens”

assistFor Halloween this season, a yoga teacher I know decided to offer a class where everyone wore costumes and did their yoga poses with their eyes closed.  My friend shuddered at the thought. “Tree Pose with my eyes closed? I can’t even think about it without getting dizzy!” But I said, bring it on! Why?

I do most of my yoga with my eyes closed anyway. I once took a class at a studio with a yoga client of mine. She seemed nervous with the close proximity of out mats being side by side. “I bet you’re going to be looking at me the whole time.” I reassured her that I do most of my yoga with my eyes closed so that I can concentrate and get into my Yoga Zone. I think she may have assumed I was being nice to help her relax. I suppose that somewhere along my yoga path, I must have felt the benefit of blocking out the world and focusing inward. This has been a beneficial experience for me because I am a screaming “E” (which in the Myer’s Brigg’s world translates as “Extrovert!”) I have to make an extra effort to dwell in a state of quietness and to not get distracted at the cute yoga pants someone is wearing across the studio. (OK, so I am an “ADHD-E.”)

The eye closing is not always a good thing, however. After a yoga class I had taught, I decided to do collarbone manipulations on everyone during Savasana. The soft music was playing, the lavender wafting in the air, as I quietly knelt behind each client, closed my eyes, and breathed out; gently pressing each person’s collarbones and shoulders onto the mat. Sounds heavenly, right?

What transpired was the “Manipulation from Hell.” I thought my hands were reaching down to press on the collarbones of one woman. When she let out an irritated audible, “EXCUSE ME!” I opened my eyes in horror as I realized my hands were pressing on her, shall we say, “padded bra area.”

This leads us to our “Yoga Stuff Happens” question of the week which is two fold:

1. Do you like to do and/or encourage people to do yoga with the eyes closed?

2. And the second question: What are some of your worst Yoga Manipulation Nightmare stories?  

Please share this blog with those you love to laugh with, who love yoga as much as you do. It’s a safe place to share your insights. Let me know if there are any pending questions you want me to offer up.



Photo courtesy of arianne

2 thoughts on “Yoga Manipulations Gone Wacky”

  1. Charlotte Bradley

    Some thoughts from Paul H. sent via email (Thank you for allowing me to post!)
    Yes I do encourage my students to enjoy the connection of mind and body with their eyes closed. And remind them also that many injuries that occur in yoga start with he ego… When you learn to trust your feelings more than what you are seeing, yoga can become a part of your very being.

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