There are no poses that I think are inherently bad and no poses that I think are inherently good. The very same pose that for one person makes them feel connected and at ease, can make another person feel disconnected and experience discomfort. It is not the pose that I teach when I teach, but…
There are no poses that I think are inherently bad and no poses that I think are inherently good. The very same pose that for one person makes them feel connected and at ease, can make another person feel disconnected and experience discomfort. It is not the pose that I teach when I teach, but the inquiry around the pose that is explored.
For me, the postures are an opportunity to pay attention. In any given pose, I might choose to attend to a particular relationship in my body, for instance, how the bones of my tibia relate to my talus. I might then continue to organize pathways of weight, sensation, and movement from, around and in between those two bones and explore how initiating from those two bones effects my foot below and my knee above, as well as the rest of my body. And when I attend in a specific way with a clear intention, my experience of the shape changes. From this perspective, any shape can be explored if the person has a clear sense of what it is they are doing and why they are doing the pose.
For me, the postures are an opportunity to pay attention.
The conversation you have with your own body is on going. Every time you come to the mat or simply choose to notice and be present with yourself and the environment around you, you have the opportunity to inquire again and again about the experience you are having.
Some questions you might choose to ask yourself…
- What are you noticing about yourself in this moment?
- How are you relating to the earth beneath you?
- How are you relating to the space surrounding you?
- Is there anything working too hard, or anything not working enough?
- Is there anything that you are holding, that you can let go of?
It is in the inquiry itself that gives the asana the opportunity to become a natural expression of what you are finding valuable in the moment, what you are choosing to attend to, and that attention has an effect upon how the asana feels and is experienced. So, perhaps the asana itself is not the point, or rather the asana itself is not the yoga. But instead the inquiry around the asana is the yoga, is the aspect that gives meaning to yoga shapes, to the practice and it is the inquiry that changes our lives. Yoga is what happens when we are simply asked to pay attention.
When I teach, I teach
towhat I am seeing inthe moment and I respond to what it is I think I am seeing. I don’t teach a style or a particular way of doing the postures. Although, I have studied most styles of yoga and appreciate them all. I teach a unique philosophy or approach to yoga, an inquiry –based experiential practice that has an effect upon how an individual experiences them self inthe moment.
Therefore, I will teach any asana from this perspective and as a result, there are many ways to practice every asana. There is not one right way to do any asana. Recently, I heard Amy Matthews say on a J. Brown podcast, “there may not be one right way to do an asana, but that does not mean that there is not a wrong way.” And, that question of is there a right and a wrong way to practice asana will be explored more in another blog, so stay tuned.