Some teachers teach poses; some teachers teach people. Some students want to work on their fitness, some students want to improve, grow, work on their body and mind. For some it’s work out, for some it’s magic.
What’s wrong, what’s right? Nothing. Just different approaches. We can practice yoga as a cardio workout. We can practice yoga to increase our flexibility. We can practice yoga as a moving meditation. We can practice yoga as a reflection on our body’s reaction to the work. We can practice yoga as a spiritual experience. And everything in between. There are teachers out there for each approach, nothing wrong, nothing right. No matter what you do, as long as you feel good, you’re doing it all right.
But what does it mean to teach people, rather than poses? Well, we are still talking about asana practice, meaning we go through postures in class. First priority – yes this is about poses and part of the game – is to do them correct or find a suitable modification. Not to master them, but to protect ourselves from injury. Now it’s up to you, leave it here or go to the next level, which means for me, teaching how to connect with ourselves. Go internal to feel what you are doing. Listen to your body. Respect your limitations of the day. Learn to breathe and let the breath initiates the movement to finally fly through the asanas. When holding the postures, find stability as well as ease. Enjoy what you are doing. Learn from what you can and can’t do so far. What is your body telling you? Why is there a stiffness, why does it hurt here, why isn’t there any progress? Is there really no progress? Why in a hurry?
Yoga can be so much more than bending your body into a pretzel or standing on your hands. If you just want this, absolutely fine. Go for it, it’s a great fitness tool. If you are open to receive more, get the journey started and allow yoga to change your life. To change yourself. Learn to differentiate between yourself and your ego.