Recently, I read where a seasoned Yoga teacher, with ‘impressive’ credentials was asked "What does Yoga mean to you?. Her answer surprised me…
One of the main foundations of Yoga is Swadyaya, often translated to study of scripture, but can also mean study of the self, in relation to the teachings.
It’s important to listen very-carefully in class. As your practice becomes seasoned, fine-tune your Viveka, or discernment as well.
What you’re hearing in class is one persons view, or suggestion of what might be good for your practice. You must weigh that with skillful Swadyaya, self study, to make the practice your own.
Too-early this morning I was sub-teaching a class, got distracted by my ipod, and told the class to rise into Setu Bhandasan, the bridge pose. Thing is, they were all lying flat on their bellies. There was a visceral pause, then I realized what I had said.
The Vinyasa-logjam was good for a laugh, and was a perfect teaching for us all. I talked a bit about Swadyaya, and how teachers are fallible, and how me must take responsibility for our Yoga, for our experience in class.
Don’t ‘audit’ the class. Dig deep. Yoga from the inside out.
Know when to color outside the lines. If your back is sore and you hear "Bow pose" perhaps a low-Cobra is more-appropriate. Be careful not to over-indulge in softening the practice., we still need to challenge ourselves, and steep our Yoga in Tapas.
So, the teacher I mentioned earlier, answered the question:
"What does Yoga mean to you…"
with a quote from a famous Yoga teacher. Huh?
Yes, quotes can be powerful teachers,
but it’s what someone else said!
So, as a teacher committed to helping people find their own truth, I ask. "What does Yoga mean to you?"
Please, take a moment to sit in Swadyaya, and type in a comment, your perspective could be just what someone else needs to hear.
Om Shanti, I’ll see you in class.