• karenwhitfieldyoga

So, What kind of Yoga DO you teach?

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

If you asked my teach that question he would shrug and say "just Yoga"! But it definitely deserves more qualification than that. The way in which I teach is called viniyoga, meaning a special application. This is Yoga applied to the individual. Traditionally in India Yoga was always taught to adults on a 1:1 basis; the concept of a group class is a very recent one.

But what’s wrong with group classes? I like group classes!

Group classes don’t work for everyone. Due to the huge differences between each person in the class a "one size fits all" approach will always have limitations. The teacher cannot be everywhere giving precise individual attention to every student. The design of a group practice will therefore always be a series of compromises and many people try a lots of different classes before they find something that works for them. Classes can also be intimidating for beginners, limiting for experienced students or completely contraindicated in many circumstances.

However, the atmosphere of the studio, the energy felt when working in harmony with others, the sound of the teacher’s voice: these all help provide a good Yoga experience, an escape from daily life. How can we integrate this into our daily life? When we are limited by sometimes overwhelming demands on our time? Our work together will help you develop a daily home practice. In order for this to work it needs to be Personal: concise, relevant and appropriate to your individual situation.

Yoga is a holistic practice. It isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a prescribed set of exercises to fix a particular problem, rather it works to support you whilst respecting your individual situation and history. This is how it differs from other exercise practices – two students may have a specific injury or illness in common but little else, hence their practices will be very different even if their main goal is relief or to aid recovery from that condition. Age, lifestyle, profession, daily routine, home environment, personal history will all play a part in the design of a Personal Yoga practice.

Practicing at home for a short period of time (usually around 20mins) every day can support you much more effectively than one or two longer and more general classes per week, and can integrate that precious time for yourself into your daily life.

Your Yoga Practice will be unique, highly specific and will grow with you; each lesson we will review the practice and over time it will slowly evolve in line with your needs. In this way Yoga can be practiced by anybody, by focussing on what you can do rather than what you can’t.

Ultimately the lessons are only guidance. This is not a group class for one person, this is a consultation for a practice that you take away with you. It is up to you to practice, to integrate it into your routine. In your own space. In your own time. With a piece of paper with some stick men on it rather than the constant encouragement of a teacher’s voice…

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