Sunday, October 9, 2011

Learning from Replacement Teachers

"The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” - Pema Chodron

Ever since I joined My Yoga Sanctuary beginning this year, I have mostly been practicing with Azmi Samdjaga .   But whenever, Azmi goes on leave, there will be a replacement teacher taking over his classes.    I find that sometimes I am reluctant to go to the replacement teacher’s class as I am so used to Azmi’s classes. 

Recently, I have been to 3 replacement teachers’ class and from their classes, I have found that when I have no expectations and just go to the class with an open heart, I get to learn so much from them.

Viviane De Doncker who is a scoliosis expert, has been replacing Azmi’s Restorative/Yin Yoga classes and in her classes, I found that due to my mild scoliosis, my body has been compensating in certain poses which results in unevenness in my hips in the pose and my body leaning more to one side.   

From Viviane’s classes, I learned to focus on my inner awareness and finding my own optimal alignment and center and stretching muscles that have tightened and strengthening muscles that have become weak from my asymmetrical imbalance.

I have been to Angie Teh’s class before when I was practicing at Yoga Zone and I had found her classes to be quite challenging as I had just started my yoga practice at that time.  Angie teaches Anusara Yoga which is a heart-centered yoga practice with strong emphasis on alignment and grounding.   

After attending Angie’s classes, I found myself paying more attention to my grounding especially in the Warrior poses.  I always remembered her telling us to keep our back foot strong and imagine that the foot is pushing against a wall and the time she sat on my back leg while I was in Warrior II.   

I have never attended Raymond Lim’s class before and did not know what to expect from his class when I attended his Hatha class on Friday.   I like Raymond’s teaching as his instructions were clear as he demonstrated the poses.  It was easy to follow his instructions and I was able to coordinate my movements with my breath.    I attended his Flow2 class today and learned some new techniques on how to do the arm balancing poses which I will try to apply into my practice.

Raymond has been exploring yoga on a deeper level ever since he completely stopped having tonsillitis and gastritis after just a year of constant yoga practice 6 years ago. Fusing with strong passion for yoga and the natural health remedies till this day, this encouraged him to further his yoga studies in India, where he obtained his 200-hour Teacher Training Certification from Yoga India, a Yoga Alliance registered school run by a great guru, Bharath Shetty in Mysore. Raymond again visited India in 2009 to study classical Hatha, Advanced Pranayama and Meditation with another guru, Yogacharya Ramesh Kumar. Raymond had also studied Yoga Therapy and Yogic Anatomy with a Physiotherapist & Yoga Teacher, Dr. H.R Narasimhan for 6 weeks in Mysore, India. Raymond aims to help his students to bring “mindful movement” to their bodies, as well as to challenge their self-imposed boundaries and go beyond their comfort zones.

Are you a one-teacher student and do you go to other teacher’s classes?  What is your experience when you go to other teachers’ classes? 

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