Posts Tagged ‘yoga today’
The biggest risk of yoga is change
I’m still thinking about that article, which I initially posted about here. Scott Stroud and I take class together on Tuesday nights, and in the car on the way home, he showed me the pictures from the article. OMG those guys, the NYT. As my teacher points out in his response, the paper is trying to increase sales and Mr. Broad is trying to sell books.
I know that’s real, but gross!
John also linked us to the best response I’ve read yet to Broad’s ridiculous piece of poorly edited journalism, from the Ashtanga Yoga Center of New York. I love every word, including his or her slam on Teacher Training Programs and that girl singing The Clash. Like the author, I remember the days of doing yoga, also in New York (for me in mid-nineties) when you could not buy a yoga mat, and when Lululemon’s owner was in Japan selling skateboards to another rich market.
Two best quotes of his/hers:
When there is a great potential for making money, quality is usually the first thing to be sacrificed. Fast food, anyone? It is unfortunate that this is exactly what we are facing now – yoga has been McDona-fied. It has been reduced from a practice that traditionally demanded dedication, discipline, sacrifice, humility, surrender, love, devotion, and self-investigation – and yes, suffering through rigorous practice – to something that one can now learn to teach in a weekend.
I would edit in “sometimes” in front of “suffering” or replace “suffering” altogether with “a lot of work”.
I also totally hearted the conclusion:
To live a life of self-examination is not always an easy thing. But that does not mean that it is not joyous, or have its own rewards, for it can be both of those things.
I made the decision several years ago to change the name of our 200-hour Teacher Training Program to be called Advanced Studies, for this is more accurate a term describing what happens in all Boundless’s Advanced Studies Programs. And, as I reminded my Boundless Yoga class last Saturday, we have been working at Boundless for 10 years to create an environment where everyone learns safely, feels challenged (both mentally and physically), and evolves. I don’t see any reason to do yoga except for these things. I want to evolve, and I want you to do that with me.
That yoga has become, for many who cannot escape the consumer trap of wanting my yoga my way, a drive-through experience, speaks to the fact that change is scary and involves loss. For those of us at Boundless — for those who teach here and who stay for a while to practice with us — we get that we’re in this body not only to own it, but to know it. We are also in it to feel exactly what our AYNY author said, that:
feeling of freshness, of being clean and free, of feeling that a whole, new world was opening in me.
i’ve been telling students in class for the past week that if you are feeling tired, lethargic, and/or mildly (or more) morose, it’s totally normal. it’s time for the Winter Solstice.
in our hemisphere, we are on the cusp of the shortest night and longest day of the year. there is a lot of information here to describe the metaphysical, scientific, and ritual aspects of this moment.
for the body, which is comparatively depleted of energy from the sun, layers of darkness enter. this is the time when mentally we can reflect (or meditate) on the things we want to shed–just as the earth here is allowing most of its plants to die.
no matter what your asana practice is right now, be aware of your overall energy levels and practice around that. this is an important time of year to let go–no matter how you define the verb.
i started this post several weeks ago when i noticed that the amount i was being thanked for adjusting students in class went up.
i didn’t know what to say about it at first, but i’ve decided now that it’s surprising. i want all yoga students to expect to be adjusted, or at least be guided, with as much precision as possible through the poses they do in my class. when i adjust someone’s pose verbally or physically, i consider that part of my job, part of what i’m paid to do.
so, you’re welcome, but sheesh! it’s what you deserve!
breathe in, breathe out, part 1
the first chakra, as carolyn myss likes to describe it, has to do with culture and community. it has to do with where we choose to root for a while, however briefly. the first chakra has the deepest and lowest vibration in the subtle body, and its closest physical analog in the body are the bones, and in the known universe, the earth. so it’s how we connect to the earth around us — not so much globally, but locally.
i have decided to set a goal: to get rid of at least half of the plastic bags wadded together like petroleum bush in my house by the end of the year, which i estimate can happen if i remember, 90-100% of the time, to take the canvas bags to the grocery store.
I have a car, so i will place two canvas bags to live in the car permanently, which, additionally, should decrease the chances of accumulating new plastic bags, especially from places like Rite Aid.
the great bill moyers was interviewed on Npr’s fresh air today, and he recalled a conversation he’d had with joseph campbell, the popular scholar of mythology, said this:
if you want to change the world, you change the metaphor.
at boundless yoga, there is a small plant growing in the corner of our bathroom, which is a room with no windows. i worried about this plant when we first put it there a few months ago, wondering if it would get enough light to grow.
the plant has actually grown a lot in this corner, defying my expectations and mitigating my concern. using virtually no sunlight (save the bit that makes it in), it propels itself upward into a larger, sturdier plant by losing some, but not all, leaves on the lower part of the stem. this seems to give the plant a heightened abililty to create bigger, greener, and lusher leaves at the the top.
it’s quite beautiful.