Teaching Question Answer

Yoga Teaching Question: Is my Student Too Deep?

When my student is in half twist she is able to go very far and is very flexible so her leg is pressed up really hard against her tummy. This allows her to get the most benefit opening up her external hip rotator and the stretch in the arm as she reaches for her ankle, however, she finds it hard to breathe deeply. (Same thing happens when she binds) As I watched her more intensely my instinct told me that she is fine and should stay doing what she is doing – if she were to release the leg she would not have the same physical benefit to the posture… so she just has to reserve the DEEP breathing for postures where her abdomen is not
be pressed against… but I am not SURE.

Response from shakti:

Here is the answer to your question:

- she is too deep!!!!
- do not compromise the breath for the posture.
- she should be finding a variation of half twist which allows her to breathe with ease.
- even if she is holding her ankle or knee or keeping arm bent.

- even though she is so flexible, she may have no breath due to a lack of internal space.
- her inner space may be cluttered with emotional tension, physical tension, physical toxins, or mental toxins.

- the best way to release internal tension is to breathe deeply.
- bring more focus into her breath work while settling into an easier variation of half twist (or other asanas, if this is her common problem)

- physical flexibility shouldn’t be a priority at this point.

it may be blockages in either the 3rd or 4th chakras; encourage her deep belly breaths as priority in her practice.

- through the release with deep breathing she will begin to develop more inner space and find more freedom physically.

Prana Yoga College


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