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2020 21st Street
Boulder, CO, 80302

Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor's home.

Teaching with the Hands

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Teaching with the Hands


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Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is often taught in silence. In place of words, Ashtanga teachers use their hands. They use their hands to adjust, support and guide the breathing body deeper into the experience of the forms without breaking the silence and engaging the thinking mind. This method of teaching is potent and highly suitable for the introspective and tactile nature of the practice. Ashtanga Vinyasa is not an endeavor of the intellect but an exploration of embodied experience, and it is through touch, above all, that this exploration comes alive.

It is vital that assists be focused and lucid. Otherwise, they can be obtrusive, distracting, or worse. As teachers, we communicate not only with our words but with our presence as well as our ability to know when and how to offer hands-on assists. We must learn to listen with our hands as much as we teach through them. 

In this special five-day intensive, we explore the art of teaching with our hands. We consider how and when to use our hands, and when to use other means. We discuss the issues of intimacy, privacy, and vulnerability that come along with using our hands to assist, and the art of making space for power dynamics to dissolve. On a technical level, we work through a wide spectrum of adjustments, practicing them one by one, experimenting with them on fellow teachers, conversing about them, and learning from the experience.

This workshop is designed to help Ashtanga teachers hone their ability to teach with their hands in a way that is appropriate for unique bodies and circumstances. There are no requirements of technical proficiency. All serious practitioners are welcome to attend.

Teaching with the Hands ($600) will take place at the Yoga Workshop (2020 21st Street, Boulder) from August 6 to 10. Registration will open soon at the Yoga Workshop website.

daily schedule

Practice      7-9 AM (Mysore)
Assist:         9:30 - 12 Noon
Lunch         12:00 Noon - 1:30 PM
Workshop  1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Top photo © 2017 Dimitris Chalkiadakis

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