Blog: Stay a little skeptical on the mat
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This guy is flipping his down dog. By placing his left hand on the floor, it could be turned into a wheel pose.

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The title of this post sounds so negative. But I only mean to keep you safe, happy and healthy.

I went to another new class with a new teacher this weekend. And while I enjoyed it, I didn't feel altogether safe with the sequencing of postures she offered. 

This means that she called out some rather challenging poses toward the beginning of class that I didn't feel my body was properly warmed up for. I don't think a suggestion to flip your downward facing dog, which means almost going into a wheel pose, in the first 15 minutes of class is wise. Your spine isn't warmed up and prepped for it.

That's why most most deep backbends like that occur toward the end of class, after a long warm-up and plenty of little backbends along the way.

I could only assume the teacher wasn't as experienced and hadn't been teaching or practicing that long. I'm sure I probably made the same errors in my early years of teaching -- taking a student into an advanced pose with little to no prep. It's just something you learn along the way, both in teaching and in your own body on the mat.

We were also instructed into a deep twist shortly after the deep backbend that I also didn't feel ready for. I prefer to teach baby twists early on in class, including a low lunge with a twist or standing in tadasana and T-ing out the arms to the sides. It's just too much of a shock to the body to go deep without them.

Moral of the story: If something doesn't seem right, stay skeptical and do your own thing. Hey, that's pretty good advice for life, too, isn't it?

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