We generally recommend taking the Principles course first if: your primary goal is learning anatomy for the purpose of your own curiosity, or if you're teaching teachers.
We recommend taking Practices first if: your primary goal is focusing on your personal practice, or if you already have a pretty strong foundation in anatomy.
Both courses are fabulous, but they approach the material in complimentary ways with slightly different focuses...
The Practices course could easily be called the "Personal Practice" course because it's all about exploring the concepts in *your* body. For example, you'll learn a bit about the knee, then be led through a physical practice where you'll be allowed to really explore *your* knee. After that, you'll hear from other students who have just gone through the same thing and hear what a wide range of experiences there are.
After you've done this for 36 classes on all different systems of the body, you will have an entirely new appreciation and subtle understanding of yourself. =)
On the other hand, Principles is the anatomy course that Leslie has been teaching and exploring for decades. There is so much humor, many real-life examples, and a ton of application. The knee class in Principles spends more time looking at the actual structure of the knee, various challenges and injuries, and some strategies for keeping the knee safe in asana & life situations.
The other main difference is how homework is approached in the two courses.
In Principles, there are homework questions at the end of every lesson that you'll work on, submit to Lydia, our "homework coach," and have conversations about.
The Practices course is more focused on *your experience* as you're moving through certain movement sequences, so the homework is generally to do the practice and share your findings. Because of how the homework situations contrast, this helps some students choose the level of rigor they would prefer.
THE SHORT VERSION:
The names are slightly misleading because it makes it seem like one course is *all* theory, and the other is *all* practice, but that's not quite the case. Principles is just more focused on explaining how things work, and Practices is more focused on exploring those concepts in your body.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
If you're still not quite sure which course is the best fit for you, click here to drop us a note. When you write, please let us know about your history, your interests, and what you're hoping to get out of the course. We'll help you figure out what's the best fit for you right now.