If you’ve been practicing for a little while, you may have started to find yoga teachers contradicting each other. One teacher tells you to look up to the ceiling and one tells you to look straight. One tells you to place your feet parallel, and one advises the back should be on an angle. So who do you listen to? Which teacher is right, and which is wrong, and is it rude to do a pose differently to how they suggest?
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!