Episode 8: Alexandria Crow – Why Fancy Yoga Isn’t Better Yoga

Hello Yogalandia!

On this week’s episode, I talk to Alexandria Crow (@alexandriacrow). If you do not know Alex yet, you want to know her. We often joke that Alex and Jason are like long lost yoga twins — they are people who do not pull any punches. Like Jason, Alex tells it like it is, is deeply knowledgeable about the body, and she believes in the power of self-study and figuring out what works best for your body. You may recognize Alex from many years of modeling for the Hard Tail ads (and at least two Yoga Journal covers, not counting the international covers). But these days, the message that Alex wants to get across loud and clear is this: Fancy poses aren’t the point of yoga.

We talk about:

* What the point of yoga really is
* How you are a unique snowflake! (Admittedly, she doesn’t say it exactly like that.)
* Ego death and how liberating it can be when everything goes wrong
* The importance of taking personal responsibility in your yoga practice
* The problem with 200 hour trainings
* Our favorite comedians of late (This is critical stuff!! Tune in, people!)

From experience I can tell you, if you want fancy….Crow Pose pressed to Handstand ain’t shit. The fancy asanas will never teach you what a gymnast knows. But simple asana and the acceptance of human imperfections will teach you what us gymnasts often don’t know. After 18 years of gymnastics, I can say that with solidity: I choose simple yoga. — Alexandria Crow

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Alex’s Web Site
Yoga Physics Phorum
The Facebook post about gymnastics vs. yoga

Podington Bear — Spring Comes Early
Podington Bear — Movin’ On Up
Podington Bear – Funk

If you like what you hear, please feel free to write a review on iTunes. If you share your URL, I’ll be able to get back to you and say thanks. You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

Alexandria Crow teaching anatomy

Alexandria Crow workshop

Alexandria Crow Downward Dog

Alexandria Crow in Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana

Alexandria Crow Compass Pose

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  1. This was enlightening and amazing. Thank you both so much. I’m an ex gymnast/preacher’s kid and this really spoke to me. I “think” I should be able to do more than I can in yoga. I judge myself so harshly. That has led me to hurt myself because of my ego. Also, I have hip arthritis now and so my mobility is much much different at 52 than it ever was when I was a gymnast. I’m an atheist toward religion but am moved deeply by the spirituality in yoga. My family still thinks I’m the weird one that moved to California. I’m always on their prayer list. I’m currently an aeiralist/aerial instructor. Yoga has and continues to make my body work for me in the air. I am always trying to be more gentle and loving and not push myself into positions that irritate my body during my yoga practice. Thank you again for a wonderful conversation. Maria Bamford has been one of my faves for years. So funny and honest!

    • Hi Tracy — Thanks so much for your comment. It always amazes me how much of the human experience is universal. I can’t believe I just discovered Maria Bamford! She is amazing! All the best to you, Andrea

  2. Wonderful discussion on understanding the nature of asana poses as opposed to blindly imitating them. I was fascinated by the discussion of 200 hours being sufficient to properly teach yoga. It made me wonder: what is the origin of the “200 hour” certification? When did that become the accepted norm of being a teacher? As Alexandria points out, the traditional approach within the practice is a long term close relationship between teacher and student. I’d love an article on how the 200 hr certification came about!

    • Hi Justin! Glad that you enjoyed the podcast. And that’s a very good question — I have some thoughts but want to confirm them before I offer a response. All the best, Andrea

  3. This one really resonated with me. I hadn’t heard of Alex Crow before, but her insights and this whole conversation was so timely for me. I just completed a 200hr in India at an ashram. I guess I was after the “authentic yoga” experience, but what I found instead was disappointment. The overall ashram life was great but I don’t feel they did a good job of prepping us to be adequate yoga teachers. Especially in California where there are zillions of yoga teachers. I wish that I had based my research of YTTs on the teacher rather than chasing the ideal authentic India experience. Indian yoga teachers and Western yoga teachers are completely different leagues.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your experience…If it makes you feel any better, it is extremely difficult to feel prepared to teach no matter how good the 200 hour training! I learned that as well. So now you have your base and you will choose with more data when you do some continuing ed 🙂 All best wishes, Andrea


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