Funny how ‘traditional’ Hot Yoga teachers commonly think that a modification for an asana is to give someone a yoga brick to sit on! That’s it!!!
In the Hot Yoga Evolution, we use modifications for each posture in the sequence, depending on a specific injury.
For example, for any asana in the class, the teacher would be ready to offer xxxx different modifications… One modification for a back injury, another for obesity, another for stiff shoulders, a knee issue, neck problem, pregnancy, beginner who cannot balance, etc.
Usually, it’s a matter of correct education – and experience. It also helps if one knows their Students well. It’s very useful for the teacher to personally interview each new Student before the class begins, and find out about their injuries.
The teacher is then prepared to offer modifications when needed, and also trained to use quick thinking to invent a new modification on the spot, if taken by ‘surprise’.
For professional teachers, the understanding and ability to use the right modifications for the right Student at the right time is bread and butter of teaching a good Hot Yoga class. Please think about this for a moment.
A Hot Yoga teacher can quickly get new ideas, and learn some modifications on their own, without a teacher training and without ‘live’ Students. Here’s how to figure out some modifications for obesity (overweight Students with a lot of flesh around their waist, large bosom, large thighs, etc.) The teacher takes a flat floor pillow or bolster, and uses a yoga strap to tie it around the front of your torso. Then, attempts to perform every asana in whatever sequence they usually teach. This is a FUN and FAST-LEARNING experience.
‘Inventing’ your own modifications, and learning to come up with them on the spot is also part of all my teacher training programs.
Here’s a question to check if you know your stuff.
What would you have a Student do, if their belly is large, and their back is so stiff, that in the Standing Separate Leg Head-to-knee, even though they bend the front leg, they cannot reach the fingers to the floor and forehead to knee?