The more time one spends teaching yoga, the more they tend to learn about the body.
In my case, the more I learn about the body and how it works, the more I move away from the idea of peak poses and classical sequencing. In fact if I had to pick out one of the biggest flaws in the modern postural practice, it would be the almost blind acceptance of yoga poses or asanas as being “good” for the body.
Let’s back up a little…
For quite sometime the spiritual and physical practice have been paired together. This coupling has had a unique effect of preserving the postural movements in with the timeless ideology, making it “traditional” or “classical” sequencing, asanas and movements.
While this repetitive practice is powerful for uniformity and building habits in the mind, it does not accurately reflect what is needed to keep the body healthy.
Largely yoga poses tend to be linear and the practice has somewhat of a boxy structure. What I mean is that your body moves in hinge like patterns, without using the full range of motion for the joints.
However, when it comes to moving the body, there is clearly a round and rotational aspect. This can easily be seen through proper joint articulations and the application of CARs.
The linear problem runs deep. There are countless weightlifting and exercise patterns that focus solely on linear movement. Many times avoiding rotation because it is thought of to be weak and therefore dangerous. This thinking is not only incorrect, but further perpetuates the dogma.
It all comes down to education. Learn about evolutionary human biology and how the body adapts. A pose or exercise is merely a representation or demonstration of what the body can do, but…
- How do you get into a pose safely?
- How do you address the lack of range?
- Is a modification simply making the pose easier or helping the client progress further? (there is a huge difference here.)
With the proper knowledge, we can preserve the timeless ideology while at the same time improving an aged movement practice.