Nov 11, 2015
Yoga Adjustment and Alignment
Location : Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines
Yoga Adjustment and Alignment
Some teachers I've talked to, regard alignment and adjustment as the same thing. I make that distinction here before I go any further:
Alignment - ensuring the student's body geometry on a pose is sound - like being vertically stacked on a handstand, or shoulders directly above the wrist on a plank.
Adjustment - once aligned, assisting the student to sink deeper into the pose - like stepping on the student's hands while lifting the chest up and straightening the arms on a Wheel
I'd been practising yoga for about 15 years now, on and off the mat. I remember that even from day-one, the teacher told us that yoga is not about the pose - it's about the breath. The yoga video-talks say the same thing whether it's from a guru or an established teacher. The yoga books echo all of that - it's not about the pose, it's about the breath. That's the talk.
In actual yoga classes though, it is standard practise for the teacher to adjust the student to sink deeper into the pose - sometimes with such emphasis and intent that it seems to be the objective. In fact, I have seen iconic gurus adjust their students with such intensity that the student practically grimaces in pain. The scene almost resembles that of a Thai massage - where the masseuse pulls the patients arms while using his legs to push against the patient's body. I've also seen students and teachers (attending another class) alike get injured through adjustments by the teacher conducting a class. In a lot of classes, the breath is not even given that much emphasis. This is where I find the disparity between the Talk and the Walk.
If yoga is all about the breath and not so much the pose, then why is it that teachers adjust the students sometimes beyond the safety edge resulting in injuries? If the student is already on his safety edge and taking refuge in the breath, then why even adjust the student to begin with? Is the pose more important now than the breath? If flexibility is the main objective of yoga, then shouldn't the gymnasts, dancers and ballerinas make the best yogis?
Personally, I align the student for proper body geometry, like having the wrist directly below the shoulder on a plank. But I would refrain from adjusting the student to sink deeper in a pose, like pushing the back down to the knees on a seated forward bend. My reasons are as follows:
As a Teacher
As a general rule, when I teach a class, I rely largely on my cueing, to take the students all the way to their safety edge, reminding them that only they will know where that fine line is. Once there, explore that space without going beyond, or risk injury. I tell them never to kill themselves over a pose - because it's not about the pose - it's about the breath and the mindfulness they put into the pose. And that if they injure themselves because they pushed their bodies beyond the limit, then, they misunderstand what yoga is all about - that they don't get it!
As a Student
I teach yoga, but a lot of times, I'm also a student, attending someone else's class. Since I max-out my stretches on a pose (or in my parlance, Samastitihi pa lang, nagpapakamatay na!), I'd rather not be adjusted by the teacher. I try to make that point without making the teacher uneasy. However, I always welcome being aligned - it's rare for a person to have that special gift of knowing their body-bearing, when in space.
I'm not saying adjustment is bad. A lot of students have benefited from being adjusted if the safety edge is not crossed. The students themselves, oftentimes, want to be adjusted. They take pride and accomplishment in using their flexibility as a yogic benchmark in their deepening practice - "I can reach my toes now...I must be doing better with my yoga".
I'm simply citing adjustment as a caveat because it's so easy to get carried away with the pose (with resulting injuries) and lose touch that yoga is about the breath and the mindfulness first, before it's the pose. Maybe it's just me, but even if a student still cannot reach his toes after a year of yoga, but he is focused on the breath and mindful of the body sensation while doing the poses, then he is doing perfect yoga. Yoga is a journey...of staying with the breath and mindfulness while weaving the asanas into a meditative vinyasa. Yoga is not a destination of 'reaching your toes' - my metaphor for pose-driven objectives. Getting flexible (or stronger, or more balanced) is a side-effect of yoga - not the objective.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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More on Cebu City:
About Cebu City
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Cebu City, Philippines
Cebu City to Camotes Island
Cebu City to Camotes Islands
- via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
- Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
- Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
Cebu City to Dumaguete
Cebu City to Dumaguete by Boat
- George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
- Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0918.898.2188
- Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Cebu City to Dumaguete via Liloan (bus, boat, jeep, tricycle)
- Cebu City South Terminal - take the southbound Ceres bus to Liloan, P200, 5 hours
- Liloan - the bus drops you off at the Liloan Port where you board the Fastcraft to Sibulan, Negros Oriental, P62, 30 mins
- Sibulan - at the Sibulan Port, the jeeps wait for Fastcraft passengers to take them to the public market in Dumaguete, P12, 30 mins.
- Public Market - at the market, you can take any tricycle to your hotel, P8 for short trips
Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol
Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol
- Weesam Express - Pier 4, departs 9:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 2 hours
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - Pier 1, departs 6-7-8-9:20-10:40-11:40AM, 1-2-4:20-6:35PM, 2 hours
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63 932 8734 885 / +63 922 8572 300
- SuperCat (2GO) - Pier 1, departs 08:15-13:30-15:10-18:00-19:40
+63 32 233 7000
- Lite Ferries - Pier 1, departs daily 12:30pm, 10:00pm and 1:00pm (Mon, Wed, Sat)
Standard (Lying) Php 150, Tourist (Lying Aircon) Php 340
+63 977.822.5483 / +63 998.999.5483 / +63 925.347.5483 / (032)255-1721 to 26 / (032)414-9001 to 03
email@example.com / www.liteferry.com
Cebu City to Siquijor by Boat, via Tagbilaran
Cebu City to Siquijor, via Tagbilaran
Cebu City to Siquijor by Bus, via Liloan (Santander)(as of Jan 2023)
There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Leaves Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) at 8 pm (Sundays 1 am), heads south to Liloan (Santander), takes the ferry to Larena Port, Siquijor, docks around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City 10 pm.
Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because when it reaches Larena Port (Siquijor), it continues its trip around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena. It spares you the cost of hiring a tricycle or habal-habal which charges exhorbitant fares. Besides, it's a long trip to the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.
Cebu CityCEBU CITY
More on Cebu Province:
Suggested Destinations in Cebu
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
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