Harnessing the Power of Touch
Nicole Clark

What is the Power of Touch?

Touch is simply the most potent and effective mode of communication that a teacher can use. The right touch at the right moment expresses more than position or technique. Through his or her hands, the teacher may convey understanding and compassion, support and confidence, healing and sharing. A good teacher also listens through touch. 

Powerful touch is both simple and complex, and so is learning to use it. When learning touch we may feel fear, excitement, or trepidation. Social concerns can make us uncertain about using touch. But with a skilled touch that comes from the heart – with compassion, care and respect – we can connect, heal, and change lives.  

When I talk about a healing touch, I don’t mean something magical or mystical. This is practical, anatomical, emotional, empirical work. Trial and error. Intuition and adaptation.

I came to teach this way through the evolution of my own yoga practice, training in different forms of bodywork, movement and dance, and art. Early in my training, one teacher would have me first sit in meditation for at least thirty minutes, and then simply sit and observe while holding the space. Then I would be guided in to make a meaningful contact. This taught me to be patient, not rushed, and to pay close attention to who is here. Another teacher taught me about ethics, boundaries and mindfulness. I learned to move around a space so as not to disturb the student, how and when to move in for contact, and how to come off contact gracefully. A third teacher taught me to assess each body structurally and emotionally – to observe and perceive what is on the surface as well as what lies beneath. He taught me about functional anatomy, pain and orthopedic evaluation, energetics and how to liberate the body from suffering. Yoga, meditation, dance and art have taught me to observe the meaning in both movement and stillness, and that each has its place. There is always movement, and there is always a still point.

Sharing all of this learning and experience is important to me. Especially in our world of digital anonymity, I love to connect with others and to encourage and empower touch. I have developed the Power of Touch trainings and mentorships to share with others the tools and techniques that have been so important in my own journey and healing. My mentorships are advanced training programs focused on deep, sustained interaction and individual growth. We train together in intensive, hands-on practice. I enjoy tailoring each program’s pace and activities both to my individual students and to the group as a whole, so that no two programs are exactly alike.  

I feel in this day and age we could all use a little more connection. My hope is to promote the use of meaningful, healing touch – both in the yoga studio and in our lives.