I’m not convinced my yoga is better than your yoga because I am not in your body or your life or your circumstances or family constellation. I do not know where you come from or what makes you tick. I do not know what your body “needs”.
Throughout 2023 at Embodied Philosophy, one of our editorial and research themes will be connected to this question: “What is the future of the yoga teacher”? This is at once a practical, professional and philosophical question.
Turning fifty, with its sea waves of hormonal change, brings much new information to the mind. You can feel some brittleness emerge and the pliancy of the joints realign. You are (or, I am) less interested in the farthest and deepest reaches of a pose, for example, but rather in the intricacies of the steps of the subtler body on the way there—on the way anywhere.
If the yoga industry wants to thrive again, it needs to start teaching more than fitness. Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel- all the techniques already exist within yoga’s traditions to offer a class that touches every part of our being. By offering more integrated classes that include pranayama, mantra, meditation and kriya, we can now provide a yoga experience, instead of just yoga poses.
I started attending classes because I had reached a place in my studies where I needed personal feedback about the experiences I was having. I took group classes for about one year before being approached to teach. I was completely ignorant of the culture of yoga building in the West and its historical context in the East. I was only interested in the practice as a psychology… as a way of spotting and shifting patterns of thought and behavior.
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