Following yoga class instructions helps us move in and out of postures without having to look at and observe the teacher.
Many instructions that are given produce varying responses and results in class participants. This can be a result of individual interpretation of the meaning of such instructions, or, maybe for the sake of brevity, a hint actually referring to a range of actions or movements.
Interpreting yoga instructions helps us gain clarity on what certain instructions mean, what the intended postural action is.
Watch this video about turning the upper arms out in downward facing dog to see the difference between intended action and literal response.
Alignment suggests specific positions and relationships of body parts in postures.
In our life off the yogamat, or when not practicing specifically, we rarely adhere to those specific alignment guidelines.
In this video I discuss the reasons why alignment can be helpful. Looking at the example of the fierce pose, or utkatasana, or chair pose, I describe the difference between specific alignment and its real-life application and relevance.
Once we are clearer why we suggest or follow alignment cues, we have greater choice and freedom to explore a broader range of movement and positions safely.