The question I get most often in the South is this: So you teach yin and restorative?
The answer — and I say this as lovingly as possible and also while laughing — is no!
Because our cultural understanding of yoga has become, for the most part, limited to vinyasa, flow, and “power yoga,” the assumption is that yoga exists in two camps — flow vs. restorative.
Like I told someone last weekend, classes with my teacher are often far more challenging than anything I did during years of practicing vinyasa and power yoga.
That’s not to claim better than, since personally I don’t believe that harder is always better or best, and I learned from that same teacher to work small and intelligently and intentionally, but to illustrate that alignment yoga can be as challenging as we ask it to be.
It was alignment work, for example, that finally helped me make sense of handstands.
In fact, strengthening in static poses is often harder than flow for me and many I’ve taught because 1) it asks us to stay with something uncomfortable, accept it, be with it, develop a relationship with it, and breathe, rather than blowing past it, and 2) because we are often strengthening the entire length of the muscle rather than its superficial layers, as we might in some gym or yoga situations.
For me and students I work with, yoga practices are intentionally shaped to serve whatever purpose is needed - perhaps to invigorate, awaken, and strengthen. Perhaps also to restore. Usually not one or the other exclusively. More often, and as long as time allows, you will feel both invigorated and restored. Some days you may leave feeling calm, and others buzzing.
Balance is the goal.
Yoga is a vast ocean and a single class merely scratches a fingernail over the top of it. We can take from that ocean to work on issues like #scoliosis #herniation or #anxiety , or we can simply build strength and explore good old fashioned asana. Or pranayama. The sky’s the limit, people.
This was taken at Yoga Union in NYC but I’m currently teaching workshops and privates in Greenville, SC :) #alignmentyoga #yeahthatgreenville #greenvillesc #yogaforscoliosis #bentnotbroken #yogatime 🙏 #yogahealing #balancedlife - 4 hours ago