The Approach of the Coach: Evidence Versus Intuition

Yoga, Personal Training, Mobility & Recovery

I have been reading and having conversations lately about the value of evidence versus the value of intuition. Most practitioners fall heavily (and loudly) on one side of the fence, with little tolerance for people on the other side of the fence. Either every single decision has to be evidence based and the only logical solution for “why” to do something comes from a peer reviewed source or the practitioner “feels” out the situation and intuitively knows what to do. The why doesn’t really matter. It just works “because it does.”


Both Sides Have Value

There are values to both ways of thinking, yet I would argue those of us who have practiced and studied for several years draw from both viewpoints. When I first began writing, I was seeking the why behind everything. I wanted answers. I studied systems, rooted in anatomy and research, that promised their way was the way. I quickly found that there were takeaways from all of these systems, and they never completely encompassed all of the pieces to get people moving well, without pain. There was always something missing in the systematic application of principles, and even with careful application. I frequently wound up feeling stuck in my efforts to get people past individual plateaus. (Before I go on, I should note that perhaps the application of the principles was lacking in some way. User error is a very real thing).


During this time, I also read research, textbooks, and books on anatomy, biomechanics, and human nature voraciously, searching for the one missing piece that would like everything together. I wrote about the research, deepening my understanding of the connection between human movement and behavior, both separately and their direct influences on each other.


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