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The Magic in Cambio Adjustments by Kathy Church

The Yoga Living Project is pleased to highlight a reflection from Kathy Church, one of Cambio's newest YTT grads and interns. Read below to hear about how one small habit at Cambio influenced her mindset around adjustments and her practice overall.

The Magic in Cambio Adjustments 
When I first began a yoga practice, everything was shiny and new and wonderful; yet my least favorite thing about studio classes was the adjustments.  Back then students were not given the choice to opt out, and I didn’t realize untill much later how unsafe I felt in the studio.  I constantly wondered where the instructor was, and if someone was about to grab me.  Savasana was impossible—I simply lay with my eyes squeezed closed (which I thought was required) hoping no one would sneak up and touch me.  Being constantly on guard in my yoga classes prevented me from realizing the full benefits of my practice.  And as a new student, I didn’t realize there was another way. 
After many years of regular practice and still struggling with adjustments, I discovered Cambio during the Covid pandemic, when adjustments were suspended. When adjustments were scheduled to resume at Cambio, I thought “oh no, not again!”  Only becasue I didn’t yet realize how special Cambio is.
Not only are adjustments optional at Cambio, a special magic happens before each and every adjustment.  But first the optional part: adjustments at Cambio are intentionally offered in a way that makes it comfortable and disceet for students to opt in or out. For students who opt-in to physical adjustments, there is a second layer of awareness, and this is where things changed for me. 
Unlike in my previous studios, Cambio teachers audibly rub their hands together to alert a student to an incoming adjustment.  No matter which direction the teacher comes from, the student will always know they are being approached.  There is no surprise involved, ever.  To my amazement this was all I needed; it took away my trepidation as I realized I didn’t dislike the adjustments, I simply dreaded being startled by my teacher.
Thanks to their sensitive approach, at Cambio I learned how beneficial the physical adjustments can be, and how quickly they can change my practice for the better.  Something happens for me when physical touch is involved—it overcomes the disconnect between my brain and certain parts of my body which can often render verbal cues inefficient; and allows my body to physically realize a posture in a way that might not seem possible by merely thinking about it.
Not only can I tolerate the adjustments at Cambio, I can embrace and welcome them, and learn from them.  I’m grateful for Cambio’s inclusive, gentle approach to physical adjustments and the genuine permission to opt-out at any time. 

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