Yoga Lies, Myths and Mistruths.
Yoga teachers and yogis speak truth, right?
Well, hopefully. Yoga students want to believe they do, of course.
But they don’t always.
At least not all of them. And not all of the time.
Yoga Teachers Aren’t Perfect
Yoga teachers are human.
Yes, even the ones who are elevated by thousands of likes and follows on social media.
And humans make mistakes. They get things wrong at times. And sometimes without realizing it–or without intention or even accidently–yoga teachers can speak or inadvertently repeat myths or mistruths.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a teacher is bad. Nor does it mean that they don’t have what’s best for you or your practice in mind.
Sure, it could mean that a teacher is only so-so, not great. Or perhaps that she is inexperienced. But it might be misspoken words. Or a case of rehashing myths.
3 Little Lies, Myths, and Mistruths
I remember early in my yoga teaching days, one of my regular students asking during class, “am I doing this right?”
And before I answered, she exclaimed, “You don’t have to answer that…I know what you’re going to say!”
“And what’s that?” I asked with a little smile on my face. 😉
She replied, “You’re going to say, “well, how does it feel to you?”
How does yoga feel to you?
This question is the perfect lead in to 3 Little Yoga Lies, Myths and Mistruths. Here are three of the little lies, myths, and mistruths that yoga teachers sometimes say, re-hash, or inadvertently tell students.
1. A Pose Should Feel Like This…
Sometimes yoga teachers will tell you or suggest to you that you should feel X, Y, or Z in a particular pose (asana). However, only you inhabit your body and only you know what a posture feels like.
So, when a yoga teacher tells you what a posture feels like or what you should feel–or where you should feel something, keep in mind that this information is likely a reflection of her/his own experience. Not everyone in a posture will feel what a teacher feels–or even anything remotely close to what she or he feels. Your experience in a pose is uniquely your own.
So, hypothetically, next time you’re in happy baby and it doesn’t feel happy or relaxing like perhaps you’re cued to expect to feel, remember it’s okay that you feel something else!
2. You’re Doing it Right When Your Posture Looks Like…
Sure, sometimes there are unsafe ways or better ways of doing certain postures. For example, a headstand which is not done properly could be risky or flat out dangerous. And there are ways that are better than others to protect your knees in certain postures. However, if a teacher tells you that you’re only doing a posture right when it looks like “X, Y, or Z” that might not be entirely accurate. It could even be way off or wrong.
Postures can be modified, adjusted, or made more comfortable. Drishti (a yogi’s gaze or direction one is looking in a pose) can be changed. While there may be a way posture looks on paper, on a yoga chart, or according to a teacher or the teacher’s body, that doesn’t mean your posture–or the way your body holds the pose–is less right or wrong.
3. This Posture Will Change Your Life / Fix X, Y, or Z…
How nice it would be if yoga could be a miracle cure for everything. Sure, in many ways yoga is a miracle…for me, at least. But if a yoga teacher tells you that a certain posture will change your life, fix a problem, make you happier, erase your woes, etc., well….hmmm…maybe, but maybe not. 😉
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