Remember to approach assists/adjustments with SSA – Sensitivity, Stability and THEN Assist. (I thought it was a funny thing to say to approach adjustments “Ass backwards” – because SSA is literally ASS, backwards! I didn’t share this with the group, but I might tell Sianna, maybe she’d find that amusing)

These can be taught to students as partner exercises, if they are comfortable and sensitive enough to do it. These can also be given by the teacher to students to give them more delicious experiences/spontaneous revelations!

1. Downward Dog – creating inner spiral with a strap

-this is great to give people an experience of widening thighs in, back and apart in downward dog

-gives them an experience of the articulation, also feels really good!

-one person takes downward dog, the other person stands behind them, lays strap over the widest part of their hips, threads strap around hips, in between thighs and out the back

-assistant places one foot between the person’s feet, uses strap to widen thighs in, back and apart, and then leans back into back foot!

2. Spa Dog

-this is downward dog with a friend rooting your hips down, giving a nice shot of organic extension down the legs

-one person takes downward dog, friend stands with one foot between the person’s hands, the other foot to the side

-assistant places hands just below the persons sacrum (or “above” depending on how you look at it) and then the action is pressing up towards the sitting bones, and then rooting the legs down

3. Parsvakonasana

-this is great for clearing the psoas!

-one person takes parsva

-friend stabilizes person’s back foot with one foot, then places one hand on the outside of the back shin, and one hand (or forearm) on the inside of the back thigh

-give the person an experience of Shins In, Thighs Out (don’t have to press on shin too much, can overdo it, so be sensitive)

-widening action is most important here so that the person feels really stable

-encourage them to tuck the tailbone strongly and extend up

**additional action is take hand from the shin and bring it to their hip and really root down their back leg, giving a shot of organic energy! Sianna called this the “ultimate freedom” assist.

4. Child’s Pose

-stand behind person in child’s pose, bring hands to hip creases and root the top of their femurs down

****this is contra-indicated for people with knee injuries or recent knee surgery because there is too much pressure on the knee joint

5. Uttanasana

-standing behind the person, make sure their outer hips are flowing back, then root them straight down with organic energy    Leena where would you say you place the hands? I’m not sure what to call that placement. I don’t want to say “butt” 🙂

-ONLY do this if the legs can straighten and the lumbar spine is lower than the top of the sacrum

-if person is on the edge, the low back is not quite below the sacrum, then really work SITO to see if the lumbar curve comes down —> if it does, then you can give the assist

6. Prasarita Padottanasana Shoulder Opening Assist

-one person takes prasarita padott. with hands clasped behind back, folding forward and bringing clasped hands towards floor

-friend places one hand on the sacrum to root them down/stabilize, then brings their other forearm to the base of the humerus bones and gently presses the arms forward

-to come out, keep the hand on the sacrum and inhale, hold person’s clasped hands and help them to come all the way up

7. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Assist

-one friend takes the pose, the other straddles the person’s torso, reaches underneath the shoulderblades and draws shoulderblades together and lifts the heart up

-then moving back to the person’s knees, hold the outer lower thighs, near the knees, and give organic energy through the leg bones and down into the feet nas the person curls deeper into the upper back and lifts their heart up

(make sure that the feet are lined up and the shins are vertical with knees right over the ankles)

8. Salabhasana Shoulder Cupping

-see if they need a strap in this pose – when their arms are clasped behind them and they lift up, if the arm bones are pushing forward, a strap will help them get more of an experience of openness and allow their arm bones to plug in/lift up more strongly

-straddle their hips, cup their shoulders from the front, sweep forward to create side body long and then lift them up, bracing your elbows on your bent knees

-instruct them to melt their heart. oh deliciousness

9. Salabhasana Calf Rooting

-let person come into salabhasana first by themselves to get an experience of it

-standing over their shins, take the whole hands to below the knee, on the calf, and root the calves down

-person in the pose roots the tailbone and comes up!

-you can also pull back on the heels or press down on the tailbone to get an experience of organic energy in this pose, play with freedom of coming up

10. Cobra Shoulder Assist

-straddle your friend in cobra, bring your knees into their shoulder blades, cup their shoulders from the front, lift and lengthen to create side body long and then press your knees into their shoulders as they curl back

11. Cobra Organic Energy Assist

-to give them an experience of the energy split from the focal point DOWN AND UP, draw the hip bones in and way back towards the feet and instruct them to really draw their belly strongly forward and drag their hands back, softening through the heart

12. Anjaneyasana Organic Energy Assist

-root their hips down so they can really rise up

13. Parsva Parsvokonasana Assist

-i tend to call this pose twisted lunge – the general form is a lunge with the torso twisted over the front leg, hands in prayer, back heel up

-one person takes the pose, for example, twisting over the right leg. the assistant approaches from the left side of the person facing their back, and places their left foot diagonally facing their pelvis. take a slight lunge as you will be supporting the person from behind. encourage strong legs, stable muscle energy. take the right hand to their top armpit and the left hand to the hip. the right hand draws the shoulder up and onto the back (head of the armbone back) and encourages a deeper twist. the left hand draws the outer hip back and roots it down. the person’s back will be really leaning into you and their spine will stack right up and over their front thigh. they may ask you to marry them. beware.

14. Ardha Chandrasana Assist

-one simple assist for teachers is to stabilize the top hip (gently) and hold the top wrist

-one fun assist is to bring one forearm under the ankle and one forearm on top of the shin (of the top leg) and press forearms into the shin, creating an experience of shins in. encourage a big scoop of the tailbone and organic extension. then the person can play with bringing the bottom arm off the floor and extend it forward! fun.

15. Urdhva Dhanurasana Assist

Team of three. One backbender and 2 strappers!

Place two straps under the backbender to start. One is under the hips the other is under the mid back. One strapper stands at the person’s head (backbender holds their ankles) the other strapper stands at the person’s feet. Both strappers hold the straps (obviously). Backbender brings their hands to the strapper’s ankles (take a wide stance here so they can have room to play in their shoulders) and then as they come up, strappers stabilize them with the straps. Really emphasize plugging the heads of the arm bones in and strong muscle energy.