Has the fusion of Yoga and Fitness
become a confusion of Yoga as Fitness?
Yoga offerings include
– Yoga for Asthma
– Yoga for Bunions
– Yoga for Colds
– Yoga for Digestion
– Yoga for Eyesight
– Yoga for Flexibility
and so on through to
All of Krishnamacharya’s and Desikachar’s
life work focused on the training of students,
some of whom then went on to become teachers.
Rather than the reality that pervades Yoga today,
in that the priority is on the training of teachers,
some of whom may go on to became students.
Krishnamacharya and Desikachar’s transmission
sought to preserve specific personal priorities
when transmitting Yoga teachings to others.
For example when teaching youngsters,
the focus was on doing less with more.
However when teaching adults personally,
the focus was on doing more with less.
This would be with regards to Āsana practice,
as well as with regard to the number of Students.
As a teacher it can be helpful to consider Āsana as
vehicles to transmit the fundamental principles of practice.
For example a cardinal principle of practice is that Āsana
have a primary and a secondary aspect within their Lakṣana.
Thus we must inquire into what is the primary aspect in this Āsana,
and what is the secondary aspect in this particular Āsana?
The idea is to maintain the integrity of the primary characteristics.
Thus we may need to compromise the secondary characteristics.
For example in Uttānāsana to sustain the primary work in the spine
we can consider a secondary compromise by releasing the knees.
I feel we need to ensure that
we use our practice to support our teaching,
rather than using our teaching to support our practice.
Something spreading more widely may not
automatically mean that something is developing.
Should we be reflecting more on that which helps Yoga to develop,
rather than on that which helps Yoga to spread more widely?
TKV Desikachar did not teach different people different things.
Nor did he just teach the same thing to different people.
He taught different people the same thing in different ways.
The same could be said of T Krishnamacharya’s teaching.
Hence the context of the phrase the viniyoga of Yoga.
One hallmark within TKV Desikachar’s teaching on Āsana,
was not to confuse ‘appropriate’ alignment techniques,
with ‘proper’ alignment techniques.
The former implies a personalised starting point,
whilst the latter implies a developmental potential.
However both need to be related to 3 questions:
Where am I coming from?
Why am I practicing Āsana?
Where am I going to?
I wonder if Modern Postural Yoga is confusing,
experiencing a supple body,
with experiencing a subtle body?
It is ironic when a collective term used to describe
an approach to teaching an individual,
becomes an individual term used to describe
an approach to teaching a collective.
In the novice phase of our relationship with a 121 Yoga Teacher,
it’s not so much about what we bring to the Lesson,
it’s more about what we take away from the Lesson.
A sign of a maturing in our relationship with a 121 Yoga Teacher,
is that we accept more responsibility for what we bring to the Lesson,
being a determining factor in what we take away from the Lesson.
In the novice phase of our relationship with a Yoga Class,
it’s not so much about what we bring to the Class,
it’s more about what we take away from the Class.
A sign of a maturing in our relationship with a Yoga Class,
is that we accept more responsibility for what we bring to the Class,
being a determining factor in what we take away from the Class.
As a Yoga Teacher we need to ensure that our personal Yoga Practice
doesn’t become a repetition of, or rehearsal for, our Yoga Teaching plans.
Our Yoga Teaching needs to be an appurtenance to our Yoga Practice.
Rather than our Yoga Practice being an appurtenance to our Yoga Teaching.
1. Who is going to practice it?
2. Why do they wish to use it?
3. When are they going to practice it?
4. How are they going to get in and out of it?
5. What do they need to have done to verify their capability?
Some people use Yoga (or even training for a career as a Yoga Teacher),
to move away from something undesirable for, or in their lives (Abhāva).
Others use Yoga to move towards something desirable (Bhāva) for, or in their lives.
Either can be positive, however good to be clear about our motives,
especially if our relationship with that which we wanted to move away from,
or that which we wanted to move towards,
changes along the way.