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Backseat Rider

- by Carey Sims at

I led an Adaptive Yoga workshop this past weekend and thought it would be nice to invite some of my regular students to come share their experience and wisdom with the teacher trainees. The common theme these students shared about my teaching was “freedom.” Freedom to move in and out of a posture, freedom to come out of a shape before the teacher cues it, freedom to close their eyes to focus, freedom to feel heavy and dark emotions.

One of the biggest frustrations I have about how many Yoga styles are taught is that they replicate the systems of control that exist outside of Yoga spaces. We have so many top down power structures in our culture and unfortunately our Yoga practice is no exception—it’s a microcosm of the macrocosm. As leaders in the field of Yoga, we must expand the practice for the better, not replicate “systems”. Dogma in the name of tradition is still dogma.

Yoga teachers it’s cool to know all of the nuances of your Warrior I cues or to be up on your anatomy game as it pertains to the shoulders and hips etc., but that’s not usually where the rubber meets the road. Like my students shared this past weekend, the simplest things are often the most profound. My allowing room for, and encouraging, them to make their own choices was the most impactful thing they gleaned from me. When I teach, I simply think of myself as a passenger. I hop in the backseat and let the students take us to where it is we are going. After all it’s the journey, not the destination and I really don’t need to drive.

Carey Sims teaching Principles of Adaptive Yoga module with the Center of Integrative Yoga Studies.

Carey Sims E-RYT500, NASM-CPT lives in Charlotte, NC. His mission is to to help students explore their bodies and breath in an accepting and non-judgmental way. He teaches “Gentle Back Care” at NoDa Yoga and offers Chair/Adaptive Yoga classes at various senior living centers and gyms in the Charlotte area. He is a student of Adaptive Yoga pioneer Matthew Sanford and an Accessible Yoga Ambassador and leads continuing education workshops on Chair Yoga and Adaptive Yoga. Carey holds degrees in Psychology from Winthrop University and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte teaches modules on Yoga History and Ethics for several 200Hr Yoga Teacher Trainings.

To book Carey for a workshop or to add him to your YTT faculty click here.

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