Yin Teacher Training Vancouver 2010 -Day 5

Eureka! I think I’ve re-discovered my knees! Literally. As I was exploring their soreness this morning I realized they aren’t actually pointing forward when I’m standing with my feet parallel to one another. They slightly point inwards. I wish I had my camera to take pictures to show you. And since Moksha usually guides a class asking us to bring our toes together and heels about an inch apart this further brings my knee caps in making them ‘pigeon knees’. I can see how this could cause continuous stress on them.

As I went to Moksha class tonight I tried the reverse. Bringing my heels together and big toes about an inch apart bringing my knees to point straight. I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed this before. In defense it is a subtle rotation but still another example of why tuning into your own body is extremely important in yoga. And in some postures I am realizing it can be extremely important for teachers to ask students what they are feeling before adjusting them and not just assume we know what is best. This is a huge part of what I’ve been learning with Yin Yoga.

Everyday Bernie, our teacher, encourages us to ask a student first what they are feeling, to check in with them, that since every body is different we can feel different stretches for the same posture. That getting everyone to adjust the same way is like treating everyone with the same pill. And generally there are certain pills given for certain conditions but people are examined before being prescribed pills. We make sure we are being prescribed the right pill for our ailment and body type (age, weight, allergies) and usually the first question we are ask is what are we feeling.

As I was exploring this new theory, in downward dog, of subtly bringing my heels closer together rather than my toes in Moksha class the teacher noticed and she adjusted them by turning them the other way. Knowing I was going to try something different I should have talked to her about this before class but it also did show me that as teachers we can tend to assume we know someone’s body and what is right for them and it is an area to be very mindful about. It’s so tricky though. In class the other day a Moksha teacher made an adjustment in a pose by bringing my shoulders down and it was a great adjustment to make and made me feel better!

I’m thinking experience will give me greater insight into this and I can now better see the value of having smaller classes and doing one on one yoga classes with students.

Bonne nuit! I get to sleep in an extra hour and a half tomorrow morning. My body has reached its exhaustion point today so it is extra rest I am greatly looking forward to.


  1. A smaller class or one on one is great for the student and the teacher, its easier the focus on the student and make sure they are not hurting themselve by doing the posture wrong. In anything its always better to have a smaller class!! Its not about having more student or make more money that make a teacher popular but by the way teacher give more quality time to the student and by spending time with them.

    • very well said melodie!! Merci beaucoup for your comment! Hmmmm…. I can see how you would be a pretty excellent teacher with such a philosophy =:)

  2. Your welcome!!! Well merci, flight attendant always been on one side but teacher is on the other side but now I dont want to go back to school!!!

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