Connection over Correction: Assisting the IBY Way

by Jennifer Yuhas

"Please don’t correct me, connect with me," embodies the philosophy of assisting at Inner Bliss.

Do you ever wonder why your teacher adjusts your body during asana practice?

An assist by Tammy, studio owner

An assist by Tammy, studio owner

At Inner Bliss we are committed to offering safe, non-judgmental and healing assists not to correct you but to connect with you.  

We want you to feel strong, empowered and confident. We want each student to feel the places where they may have more space in their bodies or simply enjoy the supportive touch of a caring teacher. We want each student to step away feeling like they have been seen and cared for.

Have you ever had an experience similar to the following shared by visiting yoga teacher and IBY student Kathy Hayes? This is the kind of experience we aim to offer when you practice at Inner Bliss:

Radiant Hippie - Bliss Balm (homemade goodness!)

Radiant Hippie - Bliss Balm (homemade goodness!)

 “I knew you were there before you [the teacher] started the assist so I wasn’t startled or surprised when you touched me. The assist was so secure. You had three points of contact which made me feel very safe and grounded. I knew that I wasn’t at risk of falling so I was able to relax into the assist versus resisting it or bracing myself for when you let go. You stayed with me and didn’t do a ‘fly by’ assist. I knew you were there to stay making the whole sequence deeper. When you moved out of the assist, you left me feeling safe and steady yet still very open as if you were still here. The assist was both powerful and gentle, a magical combination.”

Inner Bliss teachers are focused on offering intentional assists that do just that, assist you in your practice. A deliberate assist feels anchored and compassionate while encouraging you to see beyond your perceived limitations. “More than anything else, good intention leading to compassion, will give excellent results. Compassion is the ability to see yourself in others, to see so deeply that otherness disappears, leaving only oneness-unconditional love-as the reality,” state Sharon Gannon & David Life in Yoga Assists. 

Our assists begin with a loving compassion that recognizes each person simply as they are. The power of 'being seen’ is so significant yet we often forget just how important that simple recognition can be.  And the human touch: a hug, a handshake or a hand on the back, can be just enough to say to someone, I see you. You matter. 

Our teachers’ assists are a genuine offering in co-creating your experience. Like Sharon & David write, we believe that the relationship between the teacher and the students is “people working together in conscious synergy; mutually beneficial; graceful and purposeful.”

In our Share the Love Assisting Essentials workshop on Saturday, November 7, Inner Bliss teachers Shannon Baker, Meghan Wotsch and I will offer a platform for learning and exploring the fundamentals of assisting. We’ll help you find confidence, cultivate intuitiveness and Share the Love with your students so that they feel ahhhhmazing while on the mat.

This workshop is designed for certified yoga teachers or those who are simply interested in learning more about assisting. We hope you’ll join us!

Jennifer Yuhas, E-RYT 200 & Development Director

I took my very first yoga class in the winter of 1999 with my brother. We were in an old and stinky basement of a YMCA. The room was completely dark except for one lonely candle that flickered by our movements. We rolled out our mats on the dank carpeting and began our practice. Things were going well until the teacher told us to “be the cow and let your utters hang low.” I was doing my best not to make eye contact with my brother who I knew would make me crack up with laughter just like he did when we were in church as kids and then it happened, we both lost it and were in tears laughing. We walked out of class light and happy. 

I am honored to practice and study with extraordinary teachers yet the most exceptional teacher continues to be life itself. It is a privilege to teach at Inner Bliss and work within such a vibrant and thriving yoga community.