All the practices of yoga–asana, pranayama, bandhas, or meditation–should be made suitable to the individual, considering that person’s time or season, place, age, profession, strength, and other factors.
Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga, was the teacher of, among others, BKS Iyengar, Desikachar and our beloved Pattabhi Jois. His wise counsel has inspired several generations of yoga practitioners.
With yoga’s quickly rising popularity, however, many times the practices of yoga are taught in group settings, without sensitivity to the particular needs of the student. Some students need more vigorous practice, some need more meditation. An injured or ill individual may need special attention to address certain health issues. A practice that was appropriate at one phase of life may no longer serve the same function at a later stage.
While yoga can bestow health and inspire well-being, it can also injure if not taught in the appropriate context. Teachers today should be especially careful to listen–to their own intuition and to the needs of their students. There is no “right” practice. Each student must eventually learn to become their own teacher. Here is a guide to help with that process.
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