As teacher, I have a great responsibility toward my students. As Yoga studio owner and representatives of Yoga, the practice that I have chosen to adopt should attract more confident of the public at large to the world of Yoga.
Yoga, to me has to blossom that way without expecting people to lose their logic and intelligence.
In the world today, everyone’s belief about good Yoga practice is being able to travel from where we are now to end pre-imposed posture by teacher or tradition.
The man in yellow is my friend and we can see his current set of habitual posture preference (Position B). Following the mainstream Yoga, I will be considered a successful Yoga teacher if I can made him do something like in Position C or squeeze him into a pretzel-like shape.
Such is the way of Yoga culture. That is why Yoga excludes many people like my friend who are not interested to travel the journey from B to C especially when the relationship between C and health have only little or no correlation at all. Not everyone is interested in performing final yoga postures.
So who is interested in Yoga now?
My observation in my 10th year of entering the Yoga profession, most people that are gifted with flexible bones in nature, especially those with over flexible lower back who has more advantage in term of flexibility compared to others, are the ones who fall in love with Yoga. Yoga exclude the others who felt like a loser in the class. So when they said that Yoga is for everybody it means that it is for them.
My own family members are not interested in Yoga because it looked foolish going through all the “suffering” to aim for something which are more likely to cause harm than bring health. When we first started, we witnessed many Yoga centres initially came as the most “talked-about” studios in town and later closed down. We are not glad. Instead, each time we take it as a chance to reflect on what won’t work for Yoga industry. We have now learned that putting up attractive banners along the roadsides, getting the most “branded” teachers to teach, “beautiful” studio space equipped with hot yoga rooms would not necessary work.
What can attract people to Yoga?
(B) (A) After 3 months
The lady above is my student, she has been practicing Yoga for as long as I practiced and nothing structurally changed. But after less than 10 classes of Critical Alignment Therapy, she is more than pleased with her new spine (Position A). She gladly offered me the permission to use her pictures for this.
In my profession, I have found that the teaching Yoga for good posture is rarely at the forefront emphasis of most yoga classes. Most Yoga class do not pay attention to alignment technique. Even in classes that purport to emphasize alignment, it works from the other way around, often the focus is so strongly on, say, the position of the little toe, little finger, or the placement of the femur through various muscular contractions.
It always starts from the legs, arms and the legs. It doesn’t effective address the malformation on spinal level.
Critical Alignment Therapy recognised that for practical people, Yoga is practiced for health. Health is about the journey to A, our original structure. Gert said, “my theory is a practice of health” and what postures you do is not important.
When I introduced this alignment method to my senior Yoga friends, to my amazement, none of them was opened to this topic. Many just said to me “it’s just like Iyengar”.
It is worth reiterating that Critical Alignment Yoga/Therapy is not equivalent to Iyengar, not even close. It moves away from Iyengar.