Skilful with one l

Did you know that the preferred Canadian spelling of skillful is with one “l”? I didn’t, until a friend informed me. Both spellings are acceptable, but since I am writing from Montreal, I chose the one “l” version for this blog.

 The possibilities in our asana practice raise endless questions.

  • Is it the chin or the forehead that touches the shin in Parsvottanasana?
  • How high should the top leg be in Ardha Chandrasana?
  • Is Ustrasana done with the legs together or apart?

The answer is of course, “it depends.” 

Yes, it is important to be educated in the standard form of the postures and their distinguishing characteristics. We need to be knowledgeable of each posture’s common misalignments and their inadvisable consequences.

However, within the framework of healthy alignment lie the many possibilities, variations, alternative ways we can practice the pose.

The true skill of the yogi is not only to know the “right” way to do the pose. It’s to be able to discern the effects of different possibilities in practice. And, then to choose what is beneficial and useful for where you are now and where you are heading.