Scholé Yoga cues might feel a lot less focused on alignment than other yoga styles at first. Guides generally don’t give cues to “make sure your knee isn’t going over your toes,” but you might hear a guide suggest that you “check if your knee is over your toes, then see how it feels to slide it back a little until it’s over your ankle. Or if it’s not, slide your knee forward and check out how it feels.”
While yoga manuals might show us poses that look “perfect,” the truth is that no human body is the same as any other. Our bones are different lengths, the way our bones and joints fix together are deeply affected by both our biology and our biographies.
In fact, people who are the most active as children can sometimes feel like the most inflexible person in the room because all the gravity on their hip bones during their young years can actually shorten the angle in the hip bones, as yin yoga master Bernie Clark explains in his newest book, "Your Body, Your Yoga." This can create a foundation for less range of motion in later years due to the way that person's skeleton is structured, but that person can still do a lot with their body to practice yoga.
We all have different ranges of motion. The job of your yoga teacher is help you explore yours. Even if a student can get into a posture that looks perfect with arms exactly straight, being “perfect” might even be holding that atudent back from how much more they would be able to feel by going a little further and being less “perfectly” straight.
Scholé Yoga guides students towards what we call intuitive alignment. Guides offer cues on adjustments to try in postures, but remind students that no one else will ever be a better expert on how things feel in our own bodies. In a world where everyone wants to tell us what to do, this builds inner strength and trust on a whole new level.
At first, we notice how a few small changes can make a big difference, but rather than zone out and let a teaher call all the shots, we have to stay present with what we are doing to gain those achievements. As we start to connect more and more deeply with our own bodies, that connection often extends outwards into our lives. We start to notice just how big a difference it makes to pay attention to all the little things all along the way.