Random Yoga Stuff: Assists in Down Dog


123I’ve already written about the creepiness of being asked if I’m okay with hands on assists. I am! Give me more!

I may sound like a weirdo talking about my favorite assists, but I definitely have them, and one of them is in down dog.

Teacher pushing back on hip bones: I’ve actually only received this once, and, surprisingly, it was following one of the creepy “are you okay with assists” questions from a (new to me) male teacher. He was in front of me and just put his thumbs on my hip bones in down dog and pushed. I like feel my hamstrings and calves – I think a lot of teachers say that down dog is about stretching your back, not your legs, but I don’t care – and this was amazing. It was also amazing because I tried to kind of hold up against it, and then I just let go and it felt even better. I went back to that class hoping for that assist again and it never came.

Teacher pushing on lower back: I suppose “putting pressure on” sounds better than “pushing”? This is almost always pretty good too. I guess it sounds un-yogic to say something like, the harder, the better? I do occasionally feel like a cow or something if the person doing this is smaller than me and I imagine that they have to, like, lean forward to do this. This is clearly in my head, since I can’t see the person and I don’t know if they lean forward or not.

Teacher pulling back on hips: I can’t make myself feel good about this assist. It’s slightly better if it’s a woman, but, sorry, I still don’t like having anyone I’m not dating that close to my ass. I have also discovered that it is just as awkward if the teacher appears to be a flamboyantly gay man as if he appears to be straight. The other problem with this assist is that, at least when it’s a male teacher, they pull so much that my whole upper body is pulled back, my hands kind of lose their traction, and it becomes less of a stretch. I also suspect that when this happens my shoulders go up too close to my ears…but I can’t help it when I’m being pulled back and also trying to stay in this pose.


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