Friday, 23 September 2016

Why do yoga teachers say 'You are your best teacher'?

Your yoga teacher is there to guide you.  Your teacher can demonstrate the asanas, show you modifications to make the asanas accessible to all and in public classes do hands on adjustments BUT your yoga teacher cannot be in your body, feeling  the effect of the pose on your physical body, your breath, or even your emotions.  

Only you have the wisdom inside of you to know that a particular asana is giving you a stretch or a strain and if it is causing you strain, your inner wisdom if you listen to it, will prompt you to ease off a little, take a modified version of the asana or come out of the asana altogether.  In yoga we speak of 'finding your edge' - that point where you feel a stretch but not a strain but only you can feel that point.  This is why it is so important to listen to your body. Your breath is a good indicator of whether you are straining into a pose.

Your yoga teacher can also guide you on yoga philosophy but only you have the wisdom to take those teachings off the mat and apply them to your daily life.  For instance the yamas and niyamas offer guidance for living  - non-harming, truthful, taking only what you need etc  The yoga sutras of Patanjali offer further guidance for example yoga sutra 1.12 translates as 'in order to achieve the state of yoga one must develop both practice and detachment.' In other words we should do our best in all things but not be focused on the results or outcome.  


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