Thursday, June 16, 2011

Because no 2 yogis are alike!

After my class yesterday, I stayed late to ask a question on a difficult transition that we had practiced, that I have been trying - and failing! - for months (titibasana to bakasana, if anyone wants to offer some tips...).  The teacher looked me over and said something to the effect of: "well, I'm not surprised it's difficult, since your legs are so long!"  Which is true - my legs are quite long in proportion to the rest of my body.

This led us to the discussion of how, indeed, no 2 yogis are alike.  We come in all different shapes and sizes, we are of different genders, ages and attitudes.  And so when it comes to yoga, there is only so much you can learn from another person's practice, another person's experience.  At the end of the day, you have to figure out what works for YOU.

Yet another reason why it's so important to try and develop our OWN practice - no matter what that practice is, and to understand that teachers are guides, not gods.  Whether it's asana, pranayama, yama or niyama, the steps and the answers are different for each and every one of us.  In the meantime, I'll keep on kicking back my long legs in hopes that one day they will land where they're meant to!


  1. i agree 100%! Andrew has these little T-Rex arms (ok, not THAT noticeable in every day life, but during yoga- yes). It makes a whole bunch of poses difficult.

    I think we can even go so far as letting go the expectation that our own practice will result in someone else's yoga asana. :)

  2. It is all about the bandhas. You have to engage the abs, lift through the back and puff up through the shoulders. If you have long legs, it means that you are going to have to lift even higher through the abs to do the transition. Almost is if you were going into handstand.

    You can also try, doing one leg back at a time.

  3. @Eco - absolutely! I think the trick in having your own practice is to regard them as our own asanas!

    @Shanna - yes, the challenge is shifting the centre of balance without falling either on my face or on my behind! In the meantime, I will just keep scraping my toes across the floor...

  4. I think about this every time I can't reach the floor while doing a side twist in utkatasana. Or when my shoulders (still stubbornly stiff from a cycling accident almost two years ago) still won't do certain movements. Or when my overly-ample chest gets in the way of certain asana...

    None of us are the same, and yoga isn't about making cookie-cutter yogis. Yoga teachers shouldn't be expecting everyone to look the same in asana or be able to do everything they ask.

    I sure do know of some teachers who do have those unrealistic expectations though...

  5. Buenas tardes:

    Estoy recién empezando con este tema. Debo admitir que nunca imaginé que me haría tanto bien.
    Con respecto a este artículo, estoy totalmente de acuerdo en lo que se dice
    Gracias por el aporte a todos

  6. Yoga is very important in my life, in particular I have had very good teachers and I'm happy with that. It has helped me balance my being, both physically and mentally. I recommend all this practice and I agree that teachers are not gods, always put a lot of himself.

  7. SVASTI is true what you say, it is not easy. I recommend you look RAMIRO CALLE videos helped me a lot with the positions, the truth that there are many that are truly difficult. Greetings!

  8. The transition was difficult for me at first as well. While you have proportionally long legs I have short arms. The distance from my shoulders to elbows is an inch shorter than from the bottom of my neck to the crown of the head. So supported headstand is full headstand for me. I found that it's easier to trasition to bakasana if you roll the weight back to back of the palms, bring the feet back first before bend the elbow to come to bakasana. Once you're in bakasana, you can work on straightening up the arms.