1. Most studio classes are public.
If classes are held in a public space, other students are present, which means there are witnesses for each interaction.
2. In the context of yoga, the main focus of touch is on bodily alignment and improvement.
In a public and safe container, I think there’s an implicit understanding that the teacher is there to help students with the best of his or her knowledge, and that may include their use of a guiding touch.
Unless I am entirely creeped out by the feeling I get from a teacher, I have nothing to go on that would make me say, “Stay away!”
3. Feedback is immediate.
If the student doesn’t like being touched, the teacher will know either by the student’s immediate reaction, or the student will speak up, or they will not come back again—ever. If this happens, it says much more about the student than the teacher.
In that case, it’s best just to let it go, or to take note of asking for the student’s permission prior to all hands-on adjustments, so as not to scare them away from your yoga class.
4. Touch is the most powerful human interaction.
Touch can be used for making a connection, healing, or consolation. More importantly, though, touch can be employed by the teacher to help a student steer free of injury and improve their form and depth.