we need to develop the twin aspects of learning Yoga practice techniques and Yoga practice theory through engaging in learning how to practice, rather than just learning what to practice.
This means learning to engage with the process of what it means to have a personal Yoga practice alongside engaging learning to study the theory of the component principles that underpin what constitutes creating and sustaining a personalised Yoga practice.
“Yoga must be adapted to an individuals needs, expectations and possibilities,
rather than adapting an individuals needs, expectations and possibilities to Yoga.”
These twin aspects of the arts of Yoga practice techniques and Yoga practice theory support our being able to independently and intelligently choose, adapt and ultimately self-develop and self-refine our personal Yoga Sādhana.
“Yoga Practice is an essential part of Yoga Study.
Rather than Yoga Study being an essential part of Yoga Practice.”
This can be compared to learning to embrace and cultivate a relationship with any Art, such as learning the piano. Here our relationship with the art also depends on both cultivating the skill of making time on the mat, or in this case stool, alongside making time for learning the theory of how to play the piano and learning the theory of music itself.
“The target of Yoga is ‘svatantra’ which means to discover our own technique.
‘Sva’ means itself and ‘tantra’ means technique.
The techniques are in oneself and we must discover them;
if not we will depend on others.
I am sick and I go to the doctor;
but finally I must become my own therapist.
This is ‘svatantra’.”
– TKV Desikachar
With a commitment to a relationship with both aspects of Yoga practice and theory our personal skill and practice independence can truly bloom. Also as our personal practice evolves it impacts on our self-esteem and self confidence within other areas of our being with its many layers ranging over food, energy, mind and emotions.
this means that we need to establish a consistent, personalised and developmental home Yoga practice rather than just relying on attending a weekly type generalised, multi-level, teacher led, often palliative, group Yoga class experience.
“Yoga Practice turns and prepares the soil.
Yoga Study offers a range of seeds for planting.
We may need advice on how to integrate the two.”
For this process to become grounded and bloom the support of a personal teacher is invaluable. Here time can be given to exploring your needs and develop a practice appropriate to your personal interests, current lifestyle, future potentials and ongoing and changing commitments.
this means we need to engage with the issues that could get in the way of making time to actually put into practice what we have learnt. Otherwise it would be like having piano lessons and then not doing any practice between lessons, where eventually every meeting becomes as if week one with slight variations.
“Our Yoga practice needs to become smarter than our lifestyle habits.”
Inevitably, as with learning the piano, our interest and development could become stymied, if not stagnant, if we do not engage with the processes that inhibit us from realising what we had wanted from taking up the practice of Yoga. This is the true meaning of Sādhana or finding the means to succeed whatever the obstacles.
“The viniyoga of Yoga describes a process
rather than just a collection of techniques.”
I feel personally these are factors which can often drive students to look for stimulus from a new variety of class, or style, or even teacher, rather than engage which the issues which can drive us to search without rather than look within for resolution of the issues, or perhaps life anxieties that can underpin the issues that brought us to Yoga in the first place.
“Yoga is about looking inwards at what we fear most,
rather than looking outwards at what we desire most.”
The Art of the Application of Yoga Personal Sādhana Study Modules are offered in this spirit of Yoga as a personalised practice, integrated study and individual journey towards the embracing the mystery of life itself, alongside helping to maintain physical health, psychological vitality and spiritual purpose within the commitment and challenges of life, work and relationships.