[ alignment ]
They said being a yoga teacher would forever change the mind as a yoga student.
I cannot take or teach a class without watching alignment (mine or the students) closely. It is very important to keep the practice safe and have proper alignment to work the muscles effectively. The anatomy of yoga is honestly a bore, (I immediately daze out at the mention of anything too scientific) but without it, there is no security or support in the body. Yoga is about healing the body, opening tightness, and allowing the breath to flow more freely.
In Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog), the weight in the hands has a tendency to shift into the wrists. This is why the focus must be moved to the palms and fingertips, pressing away from the ground, spreading the fingers wide. When the weight drops into the wrist, it can cause harm to the joints in the future and doesn’t use the muscles properly if at all.
This is why “queues” in practice are mentioned and repeated. And it bugs me when students ignore instruction, especially when I know their capability and strength as a yogi.
Believe me, I completely support doing what feels good in your practice. As a teacher, I am also well aware every body is not able of the same postures or movements. You might be trying your hardest and the hips still will not touch your heels in child’s pose, possibly for years. The body also remembers repetition. If the body learns a pose, a vinyasa, or movement incorrectly, it will be much harder to readjust in the future.
There is so much that goes into the thought, practice, and specifics of yoga.
Alignment is everywhere! But yoga has taught me about BALANCE. Give and take. 80-20. Alignment and freedom.
It is funny. I used to not care at all about alignment and “stacking” things properly. I kind of did what I wanted and what felt good… until yoga teacher training. My yoga student life is a little more thoughtful and a lot safer. 🙂
Listen to your teachers 🙂