Let's slow down and ask some basic questions about the whole idea of a yoga assist - because offering and receiving great assists depends first on knowing what an assist is. Back in the old days of yoga assists were called "corrections". The idea was that the student was doing something wrong and the teacher could manipulate the wrongness away. Later came the word "adjustment", which is a little better, conveying the student is on the right track and some adjustments are needed.
In this book, world renowned Jivamukti Yoga practitioners Sharon Gannon and David Life use the word "assist" to communicate the idea that in yoga there are actually two beings interacting together on various levels of consciousness to foster a decrease in avidya, "mis-knowing," and an increase in vidya, or the knowing principle.
A yoga assist then, is action taken in a microcosmic relationship that reveals macrocosmic truths. It is action undertaken in mutuality with the best of intentions and the blessing of the teacher's teachers.
The giving of yoga is an art. Yoga assists are not static; they comprise a flowing dance of body, breath, and energy. They are based on continuous focus and awareness of the relationship between partners in the process. It takes two to Tango! As in Tango, in each encounter with yoga student and teacher there is an equation of reciprocity. Whether we receive or give an assist is an active process in the resolution of a relationship, a transmission, a dance. In this sense, the relationship between teacher and student is a microcosm of the flowing inter-relation among all people, all species, all living beings.
Through this book, with the "assistance" of Sharon and David, practitioners will deepen their understanding of the fundamental principles of yoga assists and apply them in practice and in service to others.