Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and in some ways is a little bit like a game of Chinese Whispers when you were a child. As yoga has traditionally been passed down by master to student via word of mouth, it’s bound to have gotten a little bit muddled in the process. Different lineages have formed, people have made up entirely new styles and teachers find things that work best for them in the process.
So who’s right? The one who aligns you in the way that feels best for your body.
Who’s wrong? No one (technically) as long as they keep your safety in mind.
Some teachers will take a super strong focus on alignment, others on energy, and others on just doing what feels good for you. My advice is always to try the teachers cue and see if it feels right for you. If it simply doesn’t feel right for your body then take the expression of the pose that feels best for you!
At the end of the day we are all going to be drawn to different yoga styles. Perfectionists may be drawn to prop heavy alignment focused styles like Iyengar, Type A’s to strong practices like Ashtanga and those who hate ‘physical activity’ to more restorative forms of yoga such as Yin. My personal advice is that you’ll probably get more out of the classes that you resist than the ones you love! Be open minded and willing to experiment and just see where it takes you. Being open to new things and being able to ‘go with the flow’ are signs of a true yogi!
Stretch Yoga Blog
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