Whatever method one practices, “a human first” approach to life is always going to help to strengthen the underlying foundations and therefore enhance any chosen expression of self or the human experience as a whole. My understanding is that any ‘life system’ is there to improve life in general and to maintain health of the organism as a whole. But, not only to exist; to excel. So, would you agree that ANY movement practice attached to a life system needs to therefore target a wide range of human movement patterns that include the ability to; push, pull, twist, carry and move through multiple directions at varying tempos and even with load? Trying to cater for all of the above within one discipline can often detract from the purpose of that specific discipline and also make it incredibly time consuming. In recent years I have seen a large number of ‘yoga asana practitioners’ starting to explore other disciplines alongside their current practice.
It is important to note that benefits of a modern day approach to asana definitely exist, but if we dive in deep enough, we see that these are primarily made up of an extensive amount of basic gymnastic movements that have been thrown into the mix within the last 100 years. It is also key to note that many of the so-called ‘basic postures’ actually have a far greater cross over to daily life than the more ‘advanced patterns’ that many seek to attain.
Better movement and the removal of chronic (or acute) pain is surely going to enhance our human experience and improve our ability to thrive within the environments we interact and reside within? So, with that in mind, are many of us trying to turn one movement method into an all-encompassing practice and failing? My personal view is that, by incorporating other disciplines it can allow us to maintain the authenticity of the asana practice itself. The inclusion of; strength training, movement drills or the ability to handle stress away from a quiet room could actually be far more beneficial and far less time consuming than spending three hours twisting the body into positions that actually present very few benefits beyond an interesting social media post? What other movements could be used to enhance the life of someone that practices ANY yoga asana method? Would you like to discover areas of weakness and improve these to feel stronger, more resilient and enhance your movement practice? Human being not human doing. Human first.