Website EP21

21: What Does An Alignment Based Practice Mean And When Is It Most Useful?

As yoga teachers, we have been trained to look for alignment in our students. But why are we so fixated on alignment? What does an ‘alignment-based yoga teacher’ do differently, better or worse? In this episode, we discuss what alignment means to us and our purpose as teachers. We go over 2 important viewpoints from senior teachers Leslie Kaminoff and Bernie Clark on alignment and where it fails us and where it guides us.

In This Episode

  • What does calling yourself an ‘alignment-based yoga teacher’ mean? (10:00)
  • We are taught in 200hr yoga teacher trainings that well-aligned poses create the safest joint alignment. Is this true? (11:47)
  • Lots of alignment cues come from 200 hr YTT training teachers to put group classes quickly and ‘safely’ into a pose. However, there are many drawbacks to simply teaching with cues from a 200 hr YTT (14:51)
“A lot of alignment, in general, is the balance of the deeper muscles closer to the joint capsule and the superficial muscles to bring more integrity to the joints.” – Nat
  • Tensegrity plays a huge role in how we ‘align’ our bodies in poses (24:06)
  • Leslie Kaminoff’s article in yoga journal, “Asanas don’t have alignment” (29:55)
  • We break down dancer’s pose into it’s constituent parts and talk about how to think about asana more functionally (33:52)
  • Bernie Clark’s Yoga International article, “Functional Yoga: When is Alignment Important?” (42:27)

Resources & Links

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