A Brief History of My Yoga Practice (Why I Don't Do Dogma)
My Iyngar teacher told me I was being lazy. My restorative teacher told me I needed to relax.
My Yin teacher told me I needed to stretch more. My Forrest yoga teacher told me I needed more strength.
My Yoga Works teacher told me anatomical based sequencing was essential. My Vini yoga teacher said anatomy knowledge wasn’t necessary if I listened to my body.
My classical hatha teacher told me belly breath would ground me. My other classical hatha teacher told me too much belly breath would harm my internal organs.
My biomechanics teacher told me I needed more variety of movement. My Ashtanga teacher told me variation was a way of avoiding discomfort.
My kundalini teacher told me my manipura chakra was out of balance. My Advaita Vedanta teacher told me healing chakras would not bring peace to my mind.
My Zen teacher told me I was the absolute and nothing in this physical world mattered. My Reiki teacher told me emotions stay in the body until we are ready to process them.
My Theravada Meditation teacher told me I ruminate too much. A guy at the bus stop told me an unexamined life wasn’t worth living.
And every one of them was right.
Each teacher and philosophy had something brilliant to offer, and at the same time every one of them was incomplete in some way. When it comes to people and the structures we create absolute truths simply don’t exist. Dogma may be comfy but it doesn’t get any of us very far. It’s taken me 14 years of confusion and disappointment to come to the realization that there really is no one correct method. The only time I worry about my yoga practice being misguided anymore is if it seems to be giving me all the answers.