The Sivananda’s companion to Yoga gives us the five principles of yoga.
- Proper relaxation
- proper exercise
- proper breathing
- proper diet
- positive thinking and meditation.
Here below is a picture from the book (pg 21):
Good yoga instructors don’t focus on ‘perfection’ of a pose – because there is nothing like ‘imperfections’ – everything is perfect the way it is, subject to the limitations of each individual body-mind status.
Infact, excellent yoga teachers don’t focus on the physical poses (asanas) at all! They focus on these five elements – sometimes emphasizing one aspect to the other).
Classical Yogasutra text from Patanjali talks of ‘eightfold path’ (Ashtanga yoga) and the eight fold path is a ‘way of life’- not what we do in an hour of yoga class!
As a yoga instructor, we need to design sequences that take care of wellbeing / repair / maintenance of different body parts, but that’s not an end to itself. Like the 5000 year old text Purushasukta, says, only one quarter of who we are is visible, three quarters of who we are is invisible – so only focusing on some parts of the visible quarter is probably not result oriented!
Would love to hear your thoughts!