Yoga for Everybody

Yesterday I had the opportunity to reconnect with a yoga teacher I have known and not seen for a while. While I pursued studying and teaching Anusara Yoga, she chose instead to study with Baron Baptiste. Each one of us found homes in very different traditions, but the things that drew us there were very similar - the spiritual dimensions of the practice, the experience of the practice as a meditation in motion, and the experience of community. We also spoke of a mutual friend who had chosen to study with Shiva Rea and was in the process of completing her advanced training with Shiva.

We shared some teaching strategies and my friend told me about how her studio teachers meet and practice on a weekly basis. This week in their meeting, they explored having to teach under certain conditions - for example - stripping down instructions to essential languaging and giving students only two words to convey the action wanted, or the heart quality emphasized. At one point they explored teaching Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutations) to the beat of a metronome - following 4/4 time and so forth. I found it fascinating to consider doing this as a teacher to explore the quality and impact of my teaching.

We also discussed how there is a style and a system of yoga for every body. We had both attended the weekend workshop with Desiree - but it was not an ideal experience for my friend. I, on the other hand, had many "aha!" moments.

I thought of this again as I observed Master Teacher Suzie Hurley teaching a group of Level 1 students last night. One student asked her what was the difference between hatha yoga and Anusara Yoga.

Suzie explained "hatha" as simply being the "yoga of the body." She then described many of the different styles and traditions and how over more than a 30 year period, she had studied most of them, settling on Anusara Yoga because it therapeutically healed her through its precise bio-mechanical alignment, it deepened her spirituality, and it made her happy.

Yesterday afternoon, a Reiki client inquired about yoga and its many styles wondering what would be the appropriate style for her. I gave her a number of resources to consult. This morning, it seems so interesting to me how this question of different styles came up for me yesterday on three separate occasions. There is truly a style that resonates with everyone. Some individuals choose to study several methods at a time - but not everyone can pull that off and really know most of what there is to know about one tradition. Besides, some times traditions conflict on approaches and instructional methods, and basic theory.

Sometimes it takes years to find what you consider to be your home, but it is certainly worth the effort, for it feeds the soul on a very deep level.


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