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In my workshops I have the space to offer my students more of the Yoga I was initially trained in. I teach my students to use props and modifications, I also let them engage with each other: working on postures in pairs and small groups, adjusting each other and observing each other’s practice. In that way they have time to ask questions and even though they get to practice less postures, they deepen their understanding of each pose and the broader principles of the practice.
One of the main misconceptions I aim to break is that ‘we can do better on our own’ or that ‘practicing without props or assistance is a more advanced level of practice’. Our blocks and bolsters are not there to assist the beginners and the injured. They are not there to make our practice any easier either! The props, when used with the right intention, are there to teach us something about the pose and thus to advance our practice. I know from my own experience that sometimes working with a prop makes the pose much harder, as it forces our mind to attend to details; similarly, accepting or offering an adjustment allows us to learn the pose better.
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In one occasion I guided a student to adjust another in child’s pose. The student that was summoned to adjust, looked a bit puzzled at first and asked, ‘so is this a pose for both of us?’ Yes it is! We learn so much from observing another practitioner and helping him in his practice. Just because we are not getting a stretch does not mean we don’t practice and improve. We need to learn from our practice, and not just do it. It is an opportunity to understand our body and mind better. We also must accept the fact, that the practice is not only about ourselves and our own improvement, it also about being part of the group and maybe help someone else grow.
Using props and practicing together teaches us to embrace help and support others. It encourages kindness towards our own body and our fellow Yogis. When we sit on a block we support our body in the journey of learning how to sit up tall, this support remains beneficial even if we can do the posture without a block. Even when we can hold our back straight easily, we may choose to sit on a block to experience a sensation of a longer spine. This kind of an experiment might give us some understanding about length in the body or take us deeper into a variation of the pose, such as a sited twist. Similarly, when we seek advice and accept support from other people, we are most likely to make better decisions.
Full article about supported practice can be found HERE.
Join Anna for her Yoga With Props Workshop ~ Saturday March 18, 2-4pm
About the author: Anna Bukchin is a Yoga teacher and a writer that travelled around the world to pursue both of her passions. Born in Russia, she later migrated with her family to Israel where she grew up. For 5 years Anna was practicing martial arts and later she joined the army where she served for another 6 years. In 2008 she found the path of Yoga. The practice of Yoga allowed her to release the stress caused by constant competitions and a battlefield environment.
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Anna was trained in an Iyengar based style of Yoga in Israel. She later kept seeking to deepen her knowledge by practicing all different styles of Yoga and training in: Russia, France, India and Australia (where she is now settled).
Anna believes that Yoga is a detailed and sensitive observation of the simplest things; this observation creates an authentic connection to the self which offers great joy and healing. Anna enjoys helping and inspiring her students through teaching Yoga and writing.
You can find more of Anna’s written work on Yoga and life in her website: https://annandiyoga.wordpress.com/
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Kula Yoga has a beautiful hot yoga studio on Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn, Melbourne. Kula offers ‘Hot Yoga’ classes for detoxification, dynamic power yoga ‘Flow Yoga’ as well as a gentle ‘Light Yin Yoga’ option. Beginners through to advanced students are welcome to all classes. Kula also provides prenatal & postnatal yoga classes, and provides Melbourne workplaces with group corporate yoga programs to build employee health, fitness and wellbeing, and school yoga programs. Kula also runs an annual ‘Kula Cruise’ yoga retreat sailing from Bali to Lombok & the Gili Islands. Find out more on our website www.kulayoga.com.au.  Or follow us:
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