Simply complicated

Yoga is complicated. A physical, mental and spiritual practice with more styles and nuances than I will ever care to remember. Best practice is just not possible. A reductionist approach would provide too many gaps down which to fall.

Yoga is simple. “It is not about how you look it is about how you feel.” Judging by the number of people taking yoga classes, the simple message is working.

I was one of them. Only there was no best practice. Just you, a mat, and a teacher (I tried lots of teachers).

At the time I was asthmatic. And a lot of us asthmatics use secondary muscles to breathe, to aid the expansion of the thoracic cavity. In short, upside down, struggling to keep shoulders away from ears, we can’t breathe effectively, respiratory distress.

Yoga is not simple. It’s stressful. Yoga feels complicated.

And here is my point. Yoga could be made simple for more people. If there was best practice.

  1. The body is sensory. Act accordingly.
  2. Learn to breathe through your nose.
  3. Learn breath control.
  4. Learn to put the tongue on the roof of your mouth
  5. Learn to breathe in side-lying, inverted, and through movement
  6. THEN begin to connect breath to movement.

When we are in a rush to prove that something is simple (or sell it). We make things complicated by forgetting the rules that made it simple in the first place.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Simon A Harling

Simon A Harling

Coach, speaker, blogger on fitness, coaching & personal leadership