Teaching With The Hands 2018-07-19T10:06:50+00:00

We must listen with our hands, even as we teach through them.

Ashtanga Vinyasa 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.  It is through touch, above all, that this exploration comes alive.

In this 5-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 we consider the crucial skill of making space for power dynamics to dissolve.  On a more technical level, we work through a wide spectrum of adjustments from the Ashtanga syllabus.  We practice them one by one, experimenting with them on the unique bodies of our peers, and then sharing our insights about the experience.

photo credit: Ashley Futrell


We start each morning at 7 AM with a Mysore-style class, taught by Mary and Ty.  After a short break, we begin the morning instructional session, which will be roughly 2.5 hours long.  Around noon, we take 1.5 hours for lunch.  Then we gather again for another 2.5 hour instructional session.  In all, the Intensive will involve 10 hours of practice and 25 hours of workshop over 5 days.

Mysore Class:             7:oo AM – 9:oo AM

Workshop:                  9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Lunch Break:             12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Workshop:                  1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

We teach with our presence. And we make our presence felt most strongly through our hands.


This intensive 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.  The workshop can also benefit practitioners who do not teach, but wish to explore the art of assisting from the other side.

There are no requirements of technical proficiency.  The only requirements are inquisitiveness, kindness, resilience and humor.  All serious practitioners who meet these requirements are welcome to attend.


The full cost of the intensive is $600.  Registration is secure upon deposit of $300, with the balance due by July 8.  Refunds will be issued upon request, minus $100, until July 8.  No refunds will be issued after that time.  Please register here.


If you are coming to Boulder for Teaching with the Hands, you might also consider joining the Summer Intensive.  It begins immediately after the Assisting Intensive, and runs for two weeks.  You can register for both here.

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