Does this pose look right?
Not to toot my own horn, but I have a somewhat extensive education (a Master’s in Exercise Science, CPT, CES, 500 hour YTT, and a few more). I know about alignment. I know how the bones stack, I mostly understand what happens when we move. So, yes, I can put you in “proper” alignment, but what is that doing for your creativity? For your sense of trusting your inner guidance? If you are always looking outside of yourself for what is “right”, how will you get to know yourself better. NO ONE knows you better than you know yourself.
It breaks my heart just a little every time someone asks me to let them know if they are doing a pose “wrong”. Yes, I can tell you what I think is proper alignment for you and I will give you some verbal cues to play around with in class, but they are for exploration. (Let me preface this by saying that I will let you know if you are in any danger of an injury).
I try to leave space in all my classes for freedom. Time and room for Shakti to do her thing - time and room for you to explore what it feels like in your body to move this way and that. Time and room for you to build a deeper trust to the voice within. To your heart.
We live in a society with a lot of structure - Government, Medicine, and the School system all have policies in place that (for the most part) were put in place for the greater good. At least I like to assume that was the initial goal. But just like a building that was built too tall and without any freedom to move, eventually a stiff wind is going to knock it down.
In one of my first lectures in the Ayurveda training I am taking, she talked about the energies of Shiva (masculine) and Shakti (feminine). Shiva is the observer, it is structure. While shakti is the observed, the creative force, the power. Both need each other and both are equally important. The problem arises when we have too much of one. Too much Shakti with no container and the energy spirals out of control. Too much Shiva, however, and Shakti has no where to explore, to go. She just builds and builds until one day she is too much for the structure to hold and there is destruction.
Have you witnessed or heard stories of a child who was raised in a super strict home, only to go wild once set free at college? Their Shakti was kept on too short of a leash.
Have you experienced this within yourself? Have you deprived yourself of something you like (food, shopping, etc) - all with good intentions - and then completely binge?
Yoga practice can be the same way. I believe if we approach our yoga practice with only the Shiva in mind - only the structure - “I’m going to do this pose perfect.