I do most of my yoga at home. Over time I also develop my own good habits and mostly bad habits. When nobody is pushing me or coaching me, then my body and I look for the path of least resistance. My hip no longer drops as much; the knee starts to bend when it should be locked, and I don’t push myself. It always shocks me when I drop into a studio with an experienced teacher. I’m ready to walk out of the room halfway through the session. The poses are more extended, deeper, and more uncomfortable than I remember! I’ll be in a pose and then feel a gentle correcting nudge from the teacher. The small correction is like opening a door that’s been locked for a while. The cobwebs and ivy are brushed aside as the door is opened. I’m always stiff and tired for the next two days as my body recovers. It feels like my first yoga class all over again.
Bad habits are seductive and can creep into your daily routines. Everyone needs a guide, a coach – someone objective who can give you feedback and call out the little crutches that nestle into the poses we strike in daily life.