If you have gone to Yoga classes with more than one teacher you will have noticed that even within the same style of Yoga, each teacher has their own way of doing things. In the Iyengar system our training is so thorough that you will hear the same phrases being used by all of us. But there will still be differences.
Let’s take a simple example like lying down in Savasana (corpse pose) at the end of a class. In one class I’ve been told I ‘must’ have a folded blanket under my head. In another I’ve been told I don’t need one. I can see why this could be seen as confusing for students. In my case, I think it depended on the asanas I had just done. When my chest was more open my head didn’t tilt back so much so less was needed under my head. But I didn’t think that one teacher was ‘right’ and the other one was ‘wrong’. Sometimes the teacher wants us to feel a different effect, but may not spell it out. As a teacher I may learn something that has a huge impact on my own progress, and be eager to pass that information on. I will therefore emphasise a way of doing something differently from someone who has not felt that effect. We need to use our intelligence as students to try both approaches – to feel the interesting differences. I could compare it to learning a musical instrument- two teachers may teach you to play the same piece of music but with different techniques. The end result is a subtle difference but as we become more proficient we make it our own. So our minds and our bodies interpret the different instructions we are given in our own ways.