Cuppa & a Catch Up

Musings on movement, health, wellbeing & self-care

Movement Teachers Are Not Created Equal

It’s true.  They teach directly from their experience and the influence of their chosen Teacher.  This is a great thing.  So many Teachers, so many different approaches, there truly is something to suit everyone.  Here’s how to find your next class..

Take Yoga for example, if we go right back to the beginning of Westernised, modern Yoga, Krishnamacharya is the man they call ‘The Grandfather of Modern Yoga’.  He taught in the traditional way, one on one and the student lived with the Teacher and his family – a long way from the large classes we see now, but that’s another post.

His most well known students were his Son, TKV Desikachar, BKS Iyengar and Sri K Pattabi Jois.  Three students who studied long term with the same Teacher, but the Yoga styles they interpreted from the original teaching couldn’t be more different.

Desikachar created ViniYoga, Yoga postures performed with absolute focus on the breath in repetitive movement.

Iyengar’s style, legendary over here in the UK for its blocks, props and belts.  A sickly teen when he first started the Yoga practice, he used these aids to advance himself in the postures and this was continued through his teaching to his students.

Pattabi Jois however, met Krishnamacharya much earlier in his life as a fit boy of eleven.  You can’t deny that his approach, called Ashtanga Yoga, is reflective of that vitality and youth as the student is encouraged to jump through the sequence of postures.

So how does this history lesson affect you?

For whatever reason, you’ve decided you want or need to introduce a movement modality into your life.  Whether that’s Yoga, Pilates, dancing; the problem we’re usually presented with is where to start looking for the class and instructor that’s right for us.

Taking a moment to enquire into the reasons for wanting a class will help:

  • What do you want to get from the session?  Think short term and long term.
  • Where did this movement modality originate? Look at the initial creator. Why did they come up with this way of working?
  • Look at your chosen instructor with the same question.  Why did this teacher start studying this modality and what drove them to start sharing it with the world?

You can find the answers to these questions very quickly on the ‘About’ page of a website.  Search engines are also your friend (I use Ecosia as they plant trees every time you search).  Sometimes, its easy to find the person responsible, for example, Joseph Pilates named his method of moving after himself!

The time you save doing this simple homework is priceless.  I once worked with a chap aged around 60 who had been told to find a yoga class by his GP  to help with his back problems and arthritic feet.  He’d searched ‘Yoga’ and gone along to the first class he found.  Imagine his shock when he arrived at a studio heated to 42 degrees with scantily clad (dare I say young) students, bending themselves into amazing postures!  Obviously Bikram Hot Yoga was NOT what this gentleman needed.  Thankfully, he returned to the PC, did his homework and found me.

On a personal note, I found Vanda Scaravelli as an answer to my scar tissue issues.  A ‘latecomer’ by some standards to Yoga, she was 40 and taught by Iyengar himself.  But because she was older, she recognised the strict training of the postures would not suit her body at that time and she took the next 40 years of her life exploring the body in gravity and how to make yoga postures appear spontaneously without effort.  I knew at once her work was exactly aligned to my movement goals and this is the foundation of what is now Intelligent Movement fifteen years later.

So, the moral of the story – Do you see yourself or your goals in your chosen modality and the offering of your chosen Teacher?  If the answer is ‘YES’ get going and try it out and even if you get there and it doesn’t suit you, there are plenty more to try..

Intelligent Movement coaching focuses predominantly on fixing faulty movement patterns that are causing pain and working with scar tissue post injury and surgery to improve range of movement. Think ‘body rehab’.  To find out more visit www.intelligentmovement.net

 

“Taking a moment to consider what you want to achieve from your chosen class is priceless”

On a personal note, I found Vanda Scaravelli as an answer to my scar tissue issues.  A ‘latecomer’ by some standards to Yoga, she was 40 and taught by Iyengar himself.  But because she was older, she recognised the strict training of the postures would not suit her body at that time and she took the next 40 years of her life exploring the body in gravity and how to make yoga postures appear spontaneously without effort.  I knew at once her work was exactly aligned to my movement goals and this is the foundation of what is now Intelligent Movement fifteen years later.

So, the moral of the story – Do you see yourself or your goals in your chosen modality and the offering of your chosen Teacher?  If the answer is ‘YES’ get going and try it out and even if you get there and it doesn’t suit you, there are plenty more to try..

Intelligent Movement coaching focuses predominantly on fixing faulty movement patterns that are causing pain and working with scar tissue post injury and surgery to improve range of movement. Think ‘body rehab’.  To find out more visit www.intelligentmovement.net