Yoga is an ancient
practice and it is also a living practice. The ancient texts on yoga
agree that for a person to get the maximum benefits the practice must be
matched to the individual and adapted to his or her changing needs.
There are benefits to a standardized practice but there are some
problems as well. One of the benefits is that the practice is already
set up so all you have to do is follow the routine. However, if the
practice is not appropriate for an individual then parts of the practice
will have to be left out or injuries could occur. And even when someone
is able to conform to a standardized routine there are still powerful
benefits to matching the practice to the specific needs of the
YogaScope is not a style or a system. These teachings are based on
the principle that practice should be adapted to the individual rather
than attempting to make the person conform to the requirements of a
system. There is a wide variety of techniques that have been used as
part of the yoga tradition. There are also many different methods for
adapting a practice to the changing needs of the individual. With
YogaScope the techniques that are appropriate for the practitioner and
his/her current circumstances are the ones that would be used. The
concept is based on the understanding that anyone can practice yoga.
There are techniques of adapting the practice that can make yoga
available to anybody. If you can breathe you can practice yoga; but not
just any yoga. To obtain the maximum benefits the practice should be
matched to your needs, your fitness level, your body type, your health,
your age, your desires, your goals and your actual life circumstances.
YogaScope has been influenced by the teachings and lineage of T.
Krishnamacharya and his son T. K. V. Desikachar. This living tradition
which dates itself back to the 9th century yogi, Nathamuni, has had a
powerful impact on the way yoga is being practiced today.
Krishnamacharya was one of the most revolutionary and influential
yoga teachers of the 20th Century. His teaching has been popularized in
the west by a few of his students. Many of Krishnamacharya's students
ended up becoming great teachers in their own right. Some of the best
examples would be T. K. V. Desikachar, B. K. S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi
Jois, and Indra Devi.
One of the most amazing things that can be observed about
Krishnamacharya's teaching is how differently each of his students was
taught and how personalized their practices were. Part of why this is
the case is because Krishnamacharya was adapting these practices to the
needs of the person with whom he was working at the time he was working
Throughout his long life Krishnamacharya used many different tools,
techniques and methods in order to meet the needs of his students and
keep these teachings a living and growing legacy. Today his son T. K.
V. Desikachar and his grandson Kaustub Desikachar are continuing in this
All tools and techniques available could be valid forms of practice
provided that they are matched appropriately to the current
circumstances and requirements of the practitioner.
YogaScope is also informed by an understanding of some of the
research into the field of movement that has occurred in the west in the
last century. The teachings of Mabel E. Todd, author of The Thinking
Body, and the ideokinetic tradition of that grew out of her work has
much that is valuable to offer. So does the research of others like
Moshe Feldenkrais, author of Awareness Through Movement and Bonnie
Bainbridge Cohen, author of Sensing Feeling and Action. Techniques
gained from the wisdom of these traditions can also provide powerful
tools in helping develop a practice that is dynamic, beneficial and
relevant to the needs of the practitioner.
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