Sharing from Justin
After years of practicing and teaching yoga, there is one thing that I realize: it is very difficult to use a single practice method for all the different individual bodies. People’s current physical condition tells the story of how they have been using their body in the past. Some people exhibit uneven pelvis, some have scoliosis, and some people even have one side that is clearly longer than the other. All of these extreme differences makes teaching a group class a challenge.
There was a student who started practicing yoga because of his severe spinal injury. But he was unable to receive individual modification that he needed in a group class setting and some poses were probably even contraindicated for his condition. He almost gave up doing yoga until he started taking private yoga classes that were tailored to suit his needs. His injury related back issues were clearly lessened and his long-term problem with poor quality of sleep was also resolved.
Even though we all try very hard to find a way of practicing that is appropriate for everyone, but in the end, we need to face one fact – each individual is uique and the practice need to reflect that. Through one-on-one instuctions, a teacher can make personal assessment on what is the most effective way to practice that can improve student’s physical state and at the same time provide flexiblity to adjust to any changing conditions. It not only avoid any potential injury, it is also an effective way of elevating one’s yoga practice.