Our emphasis in the yoga classroom is always on student success. From the newbie to the experienced yogi, we make every attempt to have that student find success. It’s one of the hardest things about teaching yoga especially in a 20+ person room of all levels. When we see a student not finding success, we’re hoping and praying that they will continue with the practice. We’ve all been there. From struggling with the breath, a pose, or even finding the time to make the practice consistent, yoga isn’t easy.
We believe a vinyasa yoga practice can be a life long, sustainable practice. It does require strong attention to breath, alignment, and honoring your body in the present moment. While yoga is for every body, every body is built differently. Beneficial and therapeutic poses that we do all the time in a traditional vinyasa practice like down dog, chaturanga, and forward facing dog, can lead to injury. So can walking, running, standing, chewing gum, there is always risk for injury.
You can get hurt doing yoga. I don’t touch headstand or shoulderstand anymore. My neck won’t allow it. I hurt my left shoulder the other day trying a one legged crow. A more common injury in this practice can be on the wrists, arms and shoulders. While there are many reasons why a student may have an injury or even if the yoga actually caused it, we’re paying attention to injuries and student success. It’s the responsibility of all yoga teachers to make this practice sustainable, to study and know anatomy, to teach safety and alignment, and to adapt as this practice reaches more people.
Starting in March, you’ll notice a new class on our schedule. It’s Every Body (WF). So, what’s up with WF? It means wrist-free. Think a vinyasa flow class, but without any down-dog, push-ups or weight bearing poses. We’re doing this as a way to help limit wrist and shoulder injuries, and give people who have trouble with weight bearing poses an opportunity to practice vinyasa without struggling through the vinyasa. We think you’ll like it, even if you are a chaturanga and arm balance junkie. Give the classes a try, and let us know if you have any feedback. We may add more or not. But know we always have your success at the forefront of our yoga teaching.
P.S. Thanks to Erin, Gretchen and Jo for researching and thinking this idea through! WF classes are on Monday at 9am in Portsmouth and Noon on Fridays in York.