Friday, March 09, 2007

All Roads Lead to Yoga

I was reading Fortune Elkins' post about bad poses on yoga blogs, and it got me to thinking. My first thought was that I am responsible for some of those bad bad pics - they are on my blog. I must admit that I had to think (more than) twice before I posted them, because they are spectacular. In the bad way. The problems with my alignment are too many and humiliating to mention. But then I got to thinking some more, and what I came up with was this: my dodgy practice makes me feel better. Therefore, it is good enough.

The main goals of my asana practice are to keep me healthy enough to teach, and to feel my connection to that which moves me, to Life (although as Mark Whitwell says, we are always connected, no need to get connected.) If my goal was to achieve physically difficult poses, then alignment would necessarily be far more important. Poor alignment, especially in the more challenging poses, does lead to injury. But I suspect there is a larger range of acceptable 'bad' alignment than we tend to think.

If you have practiced yoga in India, you may have noticed that alignment seems almost a foreign concept to many Indian yogis - yet you don't hear of widespread yoga injuries in India - interesting. Perhaps because there, it is practiced for more than just physical gains; I agree with what Yoga Station has to say on this topic. Really, it depends on why you are practicing, and in the end, as my sister-in-law says, the yoga does its work - whether you realize it or not. All roads lead to yoga.

3 comments:

Badass said...

I read Fortune's rant, and it made me very sad. Reducing yoga to an inventory of body parts misses the point. And it perpetuates the popular myth that yoga is calisthenics by another name. Nadine, please don't take down any of your photos. They are lovely, no matter how many body parts are "misplaced."

Nadine Fawell said...

Thanks honey!

Karen Beth said...

All roads lead to yoga...

I LOVE this! :)