Friday, July 5, 2013
Breathing into my what?
As previously mentioned three days a week I drive to Eagle River to teach a vinyasa style class at the local Body Renew gym. I have great students who are lively and outspoken regarding their feelings about yoga. Today as I prepared to leave, two students were laughing about a previous instructor and some of the long and odd breathing practices she made them do. When I joined the conversation, we laughed a little more about certain phrases and the cliches of certain yoga experiences. Honestly, I get what they are saying at the same time having a deep appreciation for some of seemingly more arcane sides of yoga. For me, there is a powerful message for my practice as a teacher. My classes are about the students and the needs they bring. I have to read where they are and adjust for the class to flow and be successful. Most students come for a different experience of fitness. Flexibility, balance and some inner necessity drawing them towards an indescribable aspect of health are just some of the reasons. Rarely in the gym environment are students seeking the mystical. This doesn't diminish the experience. I would argue it actually makes it even more available for many people to come and enter the joy of a yoga practice. A class free of Bhakti like yoga aspects opens the door so that people can find it through the body without having their mind or personal beliefs get stuck. Save the advanced breathing techniques and pseudo Indian philosophies for other times.