I always encourage my students to talk to me and share their yoga experiences, and, last week, two of them did share some really interesting information.
One student attended a workshop on Yin Yoga at Samdhana Karana Yoga, which I had planned to attend but was not able to due to the delivery of a vital piece of home equipment, a clothes washer. Being the solo student, she shared with me some insight about her low lunge. Every time she comes into low lunge, as many of us teach, she had pain in the hip of the forward leg. The advice she received and, later, shared with me was simple and beautiful: allow the forward-leg knee to cant out or walk the foot out away from center line. She showed ecstasy in sharing that because not only did she feel the benefits of the pose but found out that it was okay to be that way. She was given the okay to be how she needed to be to enjoy and explore her yoga. Concurrently, her husband has a stiff back that stays a little rounded in DFD; she said that he was very happy to find out that it was okay. What delightful reminders to play and explore yoga and, simultaneously, be content in the present.
I couldn’t teach a class, so a substitute was found. When I returned the following week, a student and friend approached me after class and told me she made it into bakasana (crane/crow pose) because K taught it a slightly different way. Initially, I rebuffed her and told her to never step foot in my classroom again. Kidding. Where I begin in a wide angle squat with feet together and heels raised, K begins with the feet farther apart. T went into bakasana with confidence and excitement. She was still super excited a week later.
I am very grateful that my students feel so comfortable sharing, which allows me to incorporate and expand my teaching to reach others. Education necessitates discourse, and, without discourse, education becomes a fallow field. It makes my practice feel so much more vibrant and alive when fellow yogis and yoginis share the richness yoga brings to their lives.
Caw caw, caw caw,