I began my yoga practice close to 40yrs ago. Some of my first experiences as a yoga student were of a very dynamic almost martial practice that concentrated on strength, extreme flexibility and accurate technique. As a strong young man I initially warmed to this style and the discipline required but after a good period of time I tired of the almost gymnastic competitiveness, injury and steamroller style of the instructor. I took another path!
I stopped classes, taught for a short period, completed my studies, travelled and entered a career spanning 35yrs in commerce and business. I never really went back to classes again!! However, I never forgot what I had been taught and spent time most days practising, something that has served me well since.
Some 5-6 yrs ago a close friend of mine who operates a large yoga studio in Brisbane encouraged me ‘to come out of retirement’ and help her at her centre.I retrained as an instructor with a wonderful teacher who showed me a more balanced approach. I still like the strong stuff BUT it’s not for everybody. The most important principle in yoga practice is to enjoy it and key to this is to pick the intensity you want to perform at (and find a class where you have the latitude to do this). If after every session on the mat you feel energised and clear headed (i.e feel good) then naturally you will want to do it again and eventually all the ‘maidens of the Hatha yoga system’ ie. flexibility, strength, artistry and proficiency will come of their own accord BUT your first priority must first be to savour what you are doing .