Tuesday, March 7, 2017

You don't need downward dog in every yoga class

I love teaching and practicing Dru yoga. As you will see from the previous blog post I have had a few experiences lately with other yoga styles that left me a bit concerned. 
Having just completed 2+ years of study in Restorative Exercise with Biomechanist Katy Bowman I have a changed my personal practice and my teaching of yoga.
With this knowledge now of alignment, there are a few poses I won't be teaching, at least not in a conventional way. I have learned to modify some poses/asanas to be more user friendly, and leave some out all together as I feel most people I teach don't have the strength needed to do these postures with out some kind of damage occurring if not immediately accumulative. I cringe every time I hear of a student of other yoga modalities tell me they hurt their shoulder, or pulled a muscle in their groin, or other body parts. I never want to hear of anyone hurting them selves while practicing Dru yoga with me.
That is why I take care in my lesson planning and use the gradual stages of postures. That is the kind of training you get when you learn to teach Dru yoga. It helps that Dru yoga is a gentler style of yoga, and I find this useful in achieving my goals in my teaching practice. It's not unusual to have students that lead a very busy, fast paced life, and it is a breath of fresh air for them to be able to attend a Dru yoga class and be allowed the space to actually slow down and become mindful. By the way gentler doesn't make the practice less beneficial I feel it is quite the opposite. 

So do I teach downward dog? Yes occasionally we do practice this in class, but not with out warming up the appropriate muscle groups. It is a feel good posture, that most people have done in some point of their yoga practice, and it also comes with some health considerations. Keeping these in mind I have been taught to take people into different stages of the dog, and also give the beautiful cat as a replacement posture.

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