Thursday, 20 February 2014

Need to discriminate

"Put no head above your own, check everything out for yourself." Buddha

I've had many incredible yoga teachers over the last 13 yrs. Some I've studied intensely with and other just for short workshops or specific classes. All have left an imprint in my yoga practice, teaching career and ultimately, my life.

It's easy as yoga students to get attached to your teachers, especially those thoughtful teachers that have dedicated their days, months and lives to the practice and study of yoga. For a lot of us, teaching yoga is our dharma (purpose in life). It is for me. So really it makes sense that a student, who feels this and connects with a particular teacher gets attached. I know I sure have.

It's also part of our human nature to look externally for the answers we desire, to inquire with those who may be older and more experienced than us for the resolutions or freedoms we long for. Some of those teachers have really thought provoking and intelligent things to say, that yes, will inspire you to try a particular method or change the way you approach your yoga mat or your daily life. This is one of the great values in learning yoga from a skillful teacher.

What I'm hoping to touch on in this posting is the need to discriminate or distil these teachings within ourselves. To take the necessary time to assimilate and digest what your teacher is asking of you, so you can check in with your core values to see if that resonates with you. To pull harder on the threads that speak to your heart and impact your life and eliminate that that doesn't. Just because your yoga teacher said this is what they believe to be true or what the ancient sages know to be true, doesn't necessarily mean that's your truth. What the sages of yoga are encouraging you to do is dedicate yourself to a particular practice/ritual and experience those teachings for yourself. Then put to action the teachings that have meaning for you, in your life.

Even the mythological stories that are deeply rooted in the yoga traditions aren't meant to be taken literally, they are metaphors for a way of living life or dealing with a situation. They are meant to spark a conversation with your peers or within yourSELF. They are meant to inspire action from within you. 

So the next time you're at yoga class and your teacher inspires you to consider something, may you do just that. Consider how that teaching aligns with you and  your core values. Extract the essential meaning or most important aspect of that teaching and eliminate that that doesn't serve you. This will not only allow for the teachings to be more authentic to you, but will also allow for a healthy detachment between the student and teacher. Something I know speaks loudly to those who've been impacted by the worldly Yoga scandals, like Bikram yoga, Anusara yoga, Swami Satchidananda and unfortunately many more.

With you on this path,

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