Hands On Yoga


I find it creepier than almost anything else when a yoga teacher (so far it’s only been a guy) asks me directly if I’m okay with hands on adjustments. It is just the worst thing ever, almost. I’d almost rather receive some weird/perv-y/questionable assist than have to be asked this.

Because – what am I going to say – no? You look slimy/dirty/lecherous, don’t put your hands on me? My husband beats me/I was abused as a child/I survived a violent assult? (These are examples, not true ones for me). Only if you don’t touch my ass?

To be fair, I understand that male yoga teachers probably do get hit with complaints or even unwanted attention from women they adjust in class, probably even with only the most austere intentions. Realizing that does not make it any less icky to be asked.

I like it when teachers assist me. It’s great. People in the US hardly touch each other and (or because) touching people in almost any way has taken on some kind of sinister or sexual implication. A couple of my favorite teachers are men who didn’t ask – they just assist people. You see them assisting everyone, and it’s not creepy.

Above I said that being asked if I’m okay with adjustments is almost the worst thing ever. One of the few things worse than that happened in this very case though: the instructor asked me, then proceeded to adjust almost everyone else in the class except me. It’s not because my postures are perfect. Was it because he thought I was gross? I was sweating too much? Something about my response (which was basically yes, it’s fine) creeped him out?

One of the things that I liked so much about the teachers who adjust me, and not just me, but everyone, is that it makes me feel like they see me as one of the group. As no different from the others in the class.

I realize this makes it sound like I dwell on this too much. I guess it is a little excessive. But feeling like I fit in in a class is pretty important too.


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