In two of our more recent posts we’ve discussed the current upheaval that characterizes much the American yoga community. Scandal, defamation, misunderstanding, misappropriated practices that translate into big money…So what now? We have already said that people should keep practicing, but that individuals should take responsibility for creating a yoga practice that is both informed and safe for them. Doing so has the potential to elevate the practice of yoga in America as a whole. Ultimately, the power to do so lies in the hands of the teachers and students and the studios in which these two meet.
As stated above, all of us, now matter who we are or how long we’ve been practicing or teaching should embrace the concept that in order for us to know more we must accept that there is always room for us to grow, learn and relearn. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful example of living without ego? Whether it is information we get from science or information we get from the sutras, nothing should be taken for granted. Always question what you think you know. Do adequate research from multiple resources before believing anything that is spoon fed to you as an accepted idea. Become a scientist with everything you do. Also, yoga teachers who are currently teaching with only a 200-hour certificate and have done no other education, on their own or otherwise, must understand that they most likely have not received an adequate amount of anatomy training. Education, whether acquired in other trainings or done on one’s own is important for teachers to pursue!
Ideally, we would like to see an increased focus on anatomy in teacher trainings. In no way are we suggesting there should be less focus on the history of yoga or learning about the culture that this practice came from. But, in the efforts to better serve our students we believe yoga teachers should study the bio-mechanics of the body and apply those sciences to create a safe yoga practice that is based upon and caters to the individual. When we create such a practice for our clients it is to provide them with the best information for their bodies possible. We belive this is best facilitated in one-on-one sessions. Private sessions allow the student and teacher to delve deeper into discovering the unique idiosyncrasies that are present in every body. Once these individual characteristics are discovered then we are able to create a yoga practice that goes beyond the usual sequencing and postures, but create one that presents an opportunity for profound exploration. A practice of this kind can help one rehabilitate from injuries, relieve chronic pain and help improve one’s capacity for handling stress. The other excellent benefit to a private practice is the ability to acquaint yourself with the traditional postures, find out how to practice safely for your body and then have an easier time managing your experience in crowded yoga classes. Find the best teachers you can, take responsibility for your body and keep practicing!