One good student asked me this question in the class yesterday, “according to one respected Yoga Teacher, it is 90 percent practice and 10 percent theory. what do you think Neel?”
Well, yoga practitioner simply means the one who practices Yoga. But, for one to practice Yoga, they should know what Yoga is. Otherwise, you may be drinking Orange juice while thinking that it is an Apple juice.
But, of course, for you to get the physical benefit from drinking the Orange juice or the Apple juice, you actually have to drink the juice, and also metabolise it.
Thus, the practice is needed after the knowledge is gained. Now, if the knowledge is gained from a source that you totally trust, then you can focus more on the practice and less on the theory. But, if you wish to gain a knowledge first and then decide the theory as per your needs or your goals, then you must focus on the knowledge. Because, Knowledge is Power!
Let me give you an example: I took only 2 lessons from one world famous Yoga Teacher who himself practiced headstand for a very long time in order to perfect it. Also, his students take very long time to get the same. After these 2 lessons, I practiced for 6 months. In my Yoga exercise class, any sincere Yoga student gets that headstand in a fraction of the time in the former two cases. This is because, my knowledge of the headstand is good and the method I developed is also good. But, I practiced a good amount before teaching. But, I first learnt and formulated my method of practicing, which is the knowledge!
Now, when you are talking about physical things such as a headstand, the knowledge is comparatively easy and you can spend more time in practice. However, as you go subtler, knowledge becomes more and more involved, and practice should be done after a proper knowledge. It is like drinking a invisible Orange juice thinking it to be visible Apple juice!