Yogi Opinions, who do you listen to?
“My teacher told me to do it this way.”
“I read in a book by (insert well known yogi here) that you should do it this way.”
“You NEVER do it that way!!”
Sound familiar? So many different yogi opinions on how to do Downward Facing Dog. Or Triangle. Or Warrior II. Or yoga in general! Ashtanga or anusara? Hot yoga or room temperature (er…you know what I mean) yoga? Move on the inhale or the exhale?! What’s a yogi to do? There are so many yogi opinions!
Practice, that’s what. Know the basics, but practice. Lots. And discover for yourself what feels right.
When I teach, all I can legitimately offer is what works for me and encourage my students to give it a go. I can give some IDEAS that others have shared and see if that helps, but essentially, I can only know what I truly know. So I practice. I try downward dog the way I learned it, or with this teacher’s ideas, or by following the guidance of what that book suggests, or by watching a yoga video. And one of those guides will make me say “Yes!! This feels AWESOME!” and I will pass that information on to the student. If what I suggest resonates with the student, fantastic!! If not, then I work with the student to find a away that feels good to THEM. I accept that what feels great to me may not feel great to another – and that’s ok.
There are several standard cues to stay safe in your yoga practice (but even those can vary from teacher to teacher!), and it is always a good idea to start from there. We all have different bodies with different limitations. Nobody’s bones are shaped the same, nor do our muscles fire in the exact same way. We all walk differently, stand differently, move differently and breathe differently. And all we can do as a teacher is offer our own yogi opinion on what works for us as an individual, and we discover that by having our own regular practice.
So don’t feel overwhelmed by all the different ideas of what yogis should and should not do. Just go practice! Do some self discovery, notice what makes you feels awesome and go share that awesome with your students!