One size does not fit all
Look around any yoga class and you will see that everyone, however much they try to achieve that ‘perfect pose’, looks different. We all have different bodies; different bone sizes, differently shaped joint sockets etc; and this inevitably has an effect on our yoga.
A functional practice is therefore based on what you feel in your body rather than the shapes you are making. In a functional yoga class, the teacher guides you into the basic pose, then helps you adjust so you gain the best from it. The focus is therefore the sensations in particular areas of the body such as the stretch in the lower back or front thighs. In this way, you start listening to your body, noticing the positive stimulation that’s going on in the different tissues and maybe even the energy flow.
Practising in this way often means that everyone in a class may look completely different but honestly, who cares! Yoga should be for you, not for anyone else, so learning how to practice functionally means you can utilise your yoga so that it is unique to you and your body.
Focus on your own individual experience this week, and learn how to practise functionally at this week’s Yin Yang yoga and Yin yoga classes in Cardiff and Swansea. Visit my facebook events page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/pg/yinyangyogawales/events/
Image of human bones from paulgrilley.com