Ask the Teacher: Getting What You Need From Your Practice

Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for a day, a week, or month, we all have questions. It can be daunting to approach your teacher after class, so we’re bringing the expert to you! This week, Brittany Policastro, Philadelphia-based yoga teacher, facilitator, writer and founder/director of Beyond Asana, answers a question from one of our readers. Do you have a question? Let us know in the comments section below!

I have an advanced asana practice, but my work schedule is tight so sometimes I can only make the gentle class. Is it ok to take postures deeper than instructed?
– Michelle L., Bethesda, MD

A gentle yoga class isn’t just about non-advanced postures. It offers a softer energy that isn’t about pushing. It’s calmer. More relaxed. So coming into a headstand while everyone else is in legs up the wall or busting out chaturanga pushups when everyone is in child’s pose can not only be physically disruptive but energetically disruptive as well. 

That being said, some subtle adjustments to go a bit deeper would be fine but you want to keep it subtle. Think more about the energy of what you are doing. But if you really need a more advanced (or more vigorous)  class I would suggest seeking one out to give yourself what you need. 

Known as a Stevie Wonder-loving, truth-speaking change-agent who bagged law school to pursue a creative thirst, Brittany T. Policastro rarely follows the pack - on or off the mat. She is a yoga teacher, facilitator, writer and the founder/director of Beyond Asana and has been teaching a creative and soul-stirring combination of Vinyasa and alignment-based yoga for 12 years. She writes for the Huffington Post and her own blog- The Breakthrough Blog which you can find at www.livingbeyondasana.com. Brittany loves dancing,  food prepared with love, reading every night and is currently working on her first book. Connect with Brittany on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube