At the YogaLife Project every class is dedicated to Real Yoga for Real People who live Real Lives…That means teaching how to access ancient yoga technologies so that everyone can use them on and most importantly off the mat.
These days yoga comes with a lot of baggage – preconceptions about what it is and who its for. There will be many occasions when some students will lose hope, get frustrated with their physical work and feel they are not making enough progress in their asana. Misconceived levels of flexibility required to practice yoga is often a problem. Many will say, ‘I’m not strong enough, ‘I’m not flexible, I can’t balance’, my mind is too busy’…
These feelings are caused by expectation, which have roots in the ego, wanting to ‘own’ and succeed against external images of what a ‘proper’ yogi should look like.
If being a really good yogi meant being able to hold any difficult yoga posture without effort then any dancer or gymnast would be the most advanced yogi in the class! The real key to a successful yoga asana is not always visible. Just ‘being’ in posture in that ‘moment’ recognising and ‘knowing’ where you ‘are’ and ‘how’ you are doing, not forcing, not trying too hard is more than enough.
When you discover the key to yoga asana the Niyama (inward personal interaction) principle of Satosa. – Contentment emerges. No matter how inflexible you are you can become ‘expert’ in yoga by ‘knowing’ what is important – to be content that you are moving in the right direction and making positive progress.
This is Union (the real meaning of yoga) with what really is happening – not what you think should be happening. That is REAL yoga in action resulting in a very happy, free and creative life of wisdom and peace.
In my days teaching architecture it was always important to help young students find their creative voice. Often many didn’t until much later on in their careers, but the job of the teacher for me was always to encourage in the student an inner exploration through their work knowing that bit by bit, moment by moment, no matter how small, progress was being made. It’s the same with yoga. In fact knowing this experience and way of ‘knowing’ through yoga practice helps you shift your perspective in everything else you do too.
Accessing that inner contentment in what you do is closely linked with how you do it. Imagine if, in your next yoga routine you mindfully moved through your sequence no matter how simple or complex, being totally non-attached to the results of your progress.
We don’t think about what we look like, how well we are doing how deep we are going. We are just there, observing, watching letting the experience of every event/moment flow openly and unrestricted as it passes through your unlimited spatial consciousness. Once we judge, once we compare, once we externalize we create obstacles against that flow. When you fall out of the event/moment and your yoga practice becomes tense, painful, forced and artificial.
So just being who you are in that moment, right in the heart of the action immersed and unified with what is – that is real Yoga! No expectation, no desire no wants…. just joy. Now imagine if you could know that experience all the time?