ROB WALKER is certified as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500-hour level with the Yoga Alliance. He has studied yoga in India extensively and holds a fourth level of certification in Iyengar Yoga, a style he no longer subscribes to. Walker had a long and successful career in journalism in London, UK, and Canada before turning his passion for yoga into teaching twenty years ago. In 2001 he transitioned from writing about healthcare to owning his own yoga studio. His current focus and passion are training yoga teachers at his yoga college, helping them understand the principles and benefits of The New Yoga.
Find out about his teacher trainings at www.albertayogacollege.com.
AUTHOR Q & A
1. What inspired you to write this book?
The idea for the book evolved over a number of years from a number of different influences. While Iyengar Yoga was a great training ground for observation and alignment, distancing myself from this style over the past 12 years has allowed me to see beyond its limitations to a wider horizon of influence. Bernie Clark’s brilliant Your Body Your Yoga showed me the nonsense of the mantra, “Practice and all is coming.” And several authors, originating with The Yoga Tradition of The Mysore Palace by Norman Sjoman, first showed me that modern postural yoga did not originate thousands of years ago but from early and mid–twentieth century body culture.
2. What do you hope readers will get from reading your book?
I hope The New Yoga will become the cornerstone for a new style of yoga which emphasizes what is safe, manageable and evidence-based without yoga classes being a covert training school for the Cirque Du Soleil!
3. What are the most common misconceptions when it comes to practicing yoga?
- Flexibility is not the primary goal. Really? Yes—more importantly are ten other benefits including proprioception and interoception, our two new buzzwords.
- Mobility tops flexibility. Focus on better control over a safe range of movement.
- “Practice and all is coming.” Not so! Despite the famous guru’s oft-quoted words, we may never achieve certain poses. And trying will lead to injury.
- Avoid repetitive stress and encourage brain health with frequent and varying moves on and off the mat.
- ‘Pretzel yogis’ pushing extreme flexibility leads to injury and misplaced envy. Hyper-mobility is not something to covet; it’s sad.
- Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Maintain what works but question everything for good evidence.
4. What advice do you have for practicing and aspiring yogis?
Never stop learning in a world of continually evolving knowledge. Don’t trust the dogma of teachers who claim to know all the answers and speak with complete authority!