Personally I prefer not to get personal, publicly; but perhaps I should when I need to hear some things being said; things I feel could be said. Like the other day I was reading a popular site for young yogis & yoginis. An article and comments addressed the nature & direction of western “yoga”, which seems so apparent; it needs little comment. The fact is, when the vast majority of people hears “yoga” they think asana, whether they even know the word or not. Here’s where it gets personal; because for me it would be hard to aim any further from the mark.
*So I have begun a Yoga blog ~ Ananda Bijam Yoga
Surely there is yoga asana practice. I took up that practice earnestly in 1972. After 3 years I began to share classes because I couldn’t find a teacher in my town. But that practice is not gymnastics; which is the term that comes to mind when I see young men & women displaying their gym skills as yogasana. But answer me this; really what do they have to gain?
If some athletic person takes up flexibility poses in an eastern style, what have they gained? They have helped to enliven their vitality, so long as they practice and they have secured a certain reputation, which may bring some peer status. Those results aren’t far different than playing in a band. Sorry to say it’s largely ego yoga and there’s the rub; most of what we are encouraged to do in society is developing ego; it’s an essential tool. Show some determination, self confidence, don’t risk insecurity. We are driven by our doubts & fears. We have this way, so we apply it to whatever we do and so nothing real changes.
There’s nothing new about it, nothing transformative. It’s not yoga. The idea of hatha yoga as forceful yoga never really worked for me. I have practiced for 40 years now because I want to. It is not a discipline for me in the forceful sense. It is a pleasure. Try it, become a yogi whisperer. It doesn’t need to be an imposition of will, rather let it be just to surrender in humility, letting go of pride, accomplishment. We’ll all human and so there’s always good reason to feel humble. But it’s not always easy. Ask yourself this; if you can’t find an asana that makes you feel humble then why are you doing it? A yogi is one who learns to surrender. So then humility is a great accomplishment? Really you don’t have to feel proud about it. Accept it for what it is! it is honest and it is kind; and you will be a better teacher. You will admire those who come to your class with handicaps. Those truly are potential yogis.