Is “Yoga” always good for you?

“yoga” by Matt Madd is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Some people come to my teaching just for a short period of time. Then they decide to leave to practice for other teachers where it’s cheaper, more available, or for a teacher with a big following of some kind. Some of them come back after some years for a shorter or longer time, and what I usually witness is this:

The problems I have witnessed in our first contact in their breathing patterns are reinforced. Their bad habits of moving patterns are reinforced. Their blockages in the body are reinforced. Their mental imbalances are reinforced.

Some of the people who come back to my teaching, didn’t practice anything during the years they were away. What I witness in them is usually, less reinforcement of bad habits in breathing patterns, less reinforcement of blockages in the body, and less increase of mental imbalances compared to the group above.

How does this happen?

As we talked about last week, classical physical Yoga is a psychophysical system of releasing emotional and mental blockages in the body. But, as we also talked about, few have gone through training rigorous enough to learn what techniques to use for what. And few have practiced consistently and long enough themselves, to have been able to go far in this process themselves. In classical Yoga both these things are demanded of the teacher to teach.

So when people go to teachers who have done neither of the above, what happens is that they usually reinforce their bad habits. So when they come back to me after a couple of years these tendencies, both mental and physical has become much harder to break.

Their development has actually moved backwards.

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