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Monday, May 14, 2012

Still Teaching Yoga

I'd like to show one of those graphics that goes Yoga Teacher - what my friends think I do, what I really do - but instead it displays feelings and drama. I think a lot of people think that teaching yoga will be drama-free and that places that offer yoga will somehow be better businesses than others with no politics or gossip in the workplace. You can probably tell where I'm going with this.

We've all got potential for drama in our lives. We all have to interact with others about money and roles and we all have "stuff" that comes up. When people tell me they're surprised to find drama and difficult work issues with the various studios they end up teaching at after YTT graduation, I remind them we're all just people. In fact, I find more "yoga" and more "satsang" among the volunteer computer geek community in Ottawa than in the yoga communities. And those guys don't even know they're doing it. I've found more Karma Yoga being done through a sex shop than in the yoga community.

Things are not always obvious. As a yoga teacher I trained myself to look anyplace and everyplace for lessons, for shapes, for alignment. Just because someone says something is yoga, doesn't make it so. Just because someone advertises something, doesn't mean that's exactly what they're selling. Just because you're trained to be a yoga teacher doesn't mean that's what you're being paid to do or what you ultimately offer. How many yoga classes turn into fitness workouts? How many yoga teachers gossip about each other or their students after class? How many people say one thing and do something else? It happens everywhere. Or more precisely, it for sure happens where you think it wouldn't or shouldn't. And then, there's yoga happening where it wasn't announced, in different hang outs - people practising integrity and alignment - just quietly doing it.

Swami J recently posted on Facebook that most people who think they're doing yoga are actually preparing to do yoga. Here it is...

The first word of yoga sutras is "atha" which means "now", though a particular "now" which implies that one has done the preparation to begin the path and process of yoga. Most people claiming to practice yoga are still in the preparation phase. There is nothing wrong with the preparation phase; it is needed. However, the preparation phase to begin yoga is not, itself, yoga. The preparation phase has become known as "yoga". In our modern times, there is no longer a need for this preparation phase. Now we just say that we are practicing yoga and that's it; whatever we say is yoga is suddenly called yoga.

1 comment:

Mindful Janitor said...

remember and humbled.