“We should rather work in our own environment and then meet our teacher from time to time in order to find a point of reference. Having a point of reference is absolutely necessary. We need somebody who can hold a mirror in front of us. Otherwise we very quickly begin to imagine that we are perfect and know it all. Books or videos cannot replace this personal connection. There must be a relationship, a real relationship that is based on trust.”
~ The Life and Yoga of Sri T. Krishnamacharya
The Ashtanga method in a Mysore class setting, in my personal opinion, holds a very intimate space between a student and the teacher.
It is the first brick that is laid to build a bridge that requires much observation and communication, thus hopefully an area of mutual understanding and growth together.
That is why most teachers would prefer students not to get too obsessed with social media as a reference to their practice.
In most cases the students may misunderstand an ideal practice situation against their own practice in reality (most of the time we tend to feel bad of our own body in comparison to what we watch in videos).
During my last trip to Mysore, I came to know of some practitioners who did not have the privilege of a residential teacher in their city that they could practice with regularly.
They thus formed their own community to support one another’s practice, inviting traveling teachers or sending one person within the community to KPJAYI in Mysore to learn and share their experiences back home.
Here we are a lucky bunch as we have a couple of good Ashtanga teachers in town that we can go to regularly, who will look out for us and invest their energy and effort to work with us in the practice.
Why wouldn’t we appreciate this more than the ones in the videos?