No textbook standard

My classmates and I are more than half-way through the Yoga Teacher Training course so the stress of having to absorb such a wide variety of topics while fulfilling all the assignments has certainly built up!

One of the most challenging aspects of the YTT assessment for me personally is the Teaching section, particularly the assessment on accuracy of instructional cues and adjustments for the respective poses.

As such, I have been obsessively researching this topic. While I did uncover some good references and inspirations, what struck me fundamentally is the mind-boggling volume and range of literature that has been created by the topic of yoga alignment. I can’t think of any other practice in the fitness world that has created so much discussion, debate and controversy over the topic of ‘proper alignment’.

What sets yoga apart is its deep historical lineage and variety of styles, each one with its specific set of methodology and techniques. The desire to adhere to tradition, coupled with the proliferation of social media worthy images today, have resulted in many teachers and practitioners trying to adhere to ‘textbook standards’ of performing an asana.

However every body is different, and what was taught as a standard could also evolve over time. What I’ve taken away from this is that yoga teaching cannot be perfected through sheer memorisation of rules and concepts, but rather, through on-going self-practice, experimentation and experience.