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.
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.
Just as each feature of cosmic order has an essential nature, cosmic order itself has an essential nature. Bringing ourselves into harmony with the essential nature of cosmic order is the way by which we can live peacefully in the world. Conversely, dissonant action relative the essential nature of cosmic order brings about chaos and destruction.
Nikki Costello is an educator with 30 years of teaching and training experience in the Yoga and Wellness industry. She works at the intersection of social justice and Yoga with a focus on facilitating new models of embodied leadership.
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.
Suddenly, I realized that my friend didn’t actually want advice or solutions at that moment. My friend just wanted to feel like someone had their back and was on their side and that I was listening. In other words, my friend wanted me to sit and listen to their experience of discomfort and suffering with compassion.
Nikki Vilella started teaching at Kula Yoga Project in New York City in 2005 and opened Kula Williamsburg (alongside Schuyler Grant) in 2010.
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