I know a few of you have begun practicing yoga and it is inevitable that you will (or have) practiced under different yoga instructors. Once you have practiced regularly under a few different instructors, you will notice that you are receiving different instructions and your instructors will use different words. Oh yes fellow blog readers, no two yogis are the same. Here is a brief example of the different instructions I receive from Kim and Victoria:
1) Chair Pose/Awkward Pose/Lightening Pose - 1) knees apart or 2) knees together
2) Warrior anything - 1) Front foot should intersect the arch of the back foot or 2) your heels should intersect
3) Breathing - 1) soft stomach when you breathe in or 2) tight stomach all the time
4) Eagle Arms - 1) thumb to center of forehead or 2) forearms up and out
At first this mish mash of directions freaked me out. Which way was the right way?
I believe that the answer is simple - the right way is whichever way your body is telling you to move on that particular day.
Truth be told, I tend to practice which ever way I am being told to just to challenge my body and to not become too comfortable with any one style. The different instructions give me a great chance to explore the different poses and see how my body and mind react. In fact, I think it may be very beneficial to seek out different instructors, not only for different variations of poses but for different focuses and sequences. One of my vinyasa classes features a lot of high to low plank, balancing poses and back bends...the other of my classes tends to hang out in crescent warrior and chair pose for minutes on end. Those classes combined allow me to experience a full range of motion and poses and have taught me what I love and loathe about particular poses.
Now, I know that I am constantly urging you all to give yoga a try...but if you already are maybe you should consider trying out different instructors and styles, see what fits you best. Explore your practice.