One of the great things about yoga is its adaptability. There are so many different styles. In a way you could say that there are as many different styles as there are teachers as we all bring a little bit (or a lot) of ourselves into our personal teaching. The way I instruct a class has changed very much over the years and I hope it will continue to evolve and change as I learn more about the mind and body.
My original teaching was from the Ashtanga tradition, a very physically demanding yoga practice which follows the same sequence of postures every day of your practice until you become proficient enough at these poses to progress to a more challenging level. The aim is to embody the postures which well enable your mind to eventually settle into a quietness, facilitating deep meditation. We were taught that the practice is about the meditation and not the physical poses - these are just a way to still the mind.
A few years on, I discovered Kundalini Yoga which more embodies movement within a posture, more intense breathing practices and chanting - both silent and out loud. This was all about awakening the 'kundalini energy', which resides at the base of your spine, to bring it upwards and tap into your health and creativity.
The past few years have been more about alignment and the much more recent biomechanical knowledge we are accessing about how our bodies move and stay still. Every day science uncovers something we haven't previously known about the human machine.
I feel blessed to be learning from teachers who devote a lot of time and effort into making these new discoveries available in an easy to understand form. This unearthing of new and wondrous things continues to guide my practice and how I relay it to the class.
This past weekend I spent learning more about the mechanics of the foot, balance and how we walk. Expect to be experiencing elements of this in a class soon.