11/10/13 – Mysore, India
Yoga is a journey of Self-Discovery, a journey of knowledge. And along this path we will learn a LOT. The journey inspires curiosity and awakens a ‘thirst’ for knowledge within the practitioners. We learn about our bodies, we learn to stretch our limits both physically and mentally and we learn to perform seemingly impossible feats of the body through its physical manipulation.
We also begin to learn more about our selves – what makes us happy, what makes us sad, what pushes us out of our comfort zones and we can even begin to identify our typical ‘programmed’ responses. Additionally, yoga teaches us to be a witness to our own actions, to see the way our actions impact our environment and the people around us.
This path of Self-discovery leads many practitioners to begin to learn and explore many new disciplines that seem to align with the practice of yoga, including Yoga Sutras, Philosophical studies, Ayurvedic medicine, Reiki, Meditation, Sanskrit Chanting, – just to name a few. These are extremely healing and powerful practices that open the doors of knowledge even wider, providing a flood of information for the practitioner to integrate into their daily lives, this is information that can also be used to help others along their own path of healing.
While, as students begin we to heal ourselves, and maybe we even start to help others heal along this path of Self-discovery; it can be easy for some to fall into the mindset of thinking they ‘know it all’.
In conference this week, Sharath was talking about what it’s like being a student, he mentioned the tendency for students to feel as if they know everything, and shared his insights with us. Please keep in mind, I’m paraphrasing what Sharath explained here – when I know there is more for me to learn, then the door to knowledge is opened. The man who thinks he knows everything cannot grow, because in his eyes, there is nothing left to know. While the man who knows everything, would never admit he knows everything, he will always be searching, exploring, and seeking to uncover more truth.
To me, this is a beautiful perspective. The idea that we will ALWAYS be learning, and that we are not expected to ever know everything is very liberating!!! Acknowledging that we will be wrong sometimes, that we WILL make mistakes, and that making mistakes is ok, it’s part of our process as humans; we make mistakes, we hopefully learn from them (eventually at least), and because of these mistakes we learn, we grow, and then we make different mistakes!!!
The more we learn and discover on this journey the more we see we have much still to learn. Embrace your knowledge, and at the same time, celebrate the opportunity to continue learning, to continue growing, and to continue exploring. The ability to change, adapt, grow and evolve is an amazing quality we humans possess – Let’s celebrate the fact that we can change – we can grow, and we can spend the rest of our lives doing just that, while making a few mistakes along the way!!
- Saturday, December 14, 2013 ~ The Tristhana Method: The Heart of Ashtanga Yoga ~ 2:00-4:00pm at Yogani Studios
- Sunday, December 15, 2013 ~ Intro to Mysore ~ 1:00-3:00pm at Yogani Studios
- January 18 & 19, 2014 ~ Ashtanga Yoga and the Journey Inward: A Weekend Workshop ~ 2:00-4:00pm at White Orchid Yoga
You Might Also Enjoy:
- Standing up from back-bending – a lesson in vulnerability
- Keeping Guruji With You When You Practice
- The Heart of Ashtanga Yoga: The Tristhana Method
- Ashtanga Yoga is a breath practice. Seriously, it REALLY is!!!!
- The Seven Words That Changed My Practice
The Ashtanga Yoga practice is an intense practice of Self-Discovery and HEALING and the journey is unique for each person. This practice is not only physically demanding, it’s emotionally demanding as well. The practice leads students inward, toward their TRUE SELF, allowing them to live happier, more honest and peaceful lives. On this journey, students will no doubt encounter painful, challenging and even frightening moments. It is in these moments when we really learn the most about our self. It is through these painful, challenging and frightening moments when the real yoga happens and we can start to break down the conditioned patterns that we need to let go…
Last summer, in one of Sharath’s conferences, he was talking to us about the importance of practicing with one teacher, when a student asked ‘What if jobs, family and finances won’t allow us to make it to Mysore to practice with you every year?’….
Asthanga Yoga method provides an opportunity for practitioners to practice releasing these distractions and focusing the mind on one single point. Thus, leading students on a path of Self-discovery…..
Walk in to any Mysore class around the world and the first two things you will probably notice are the breath and the postures. All the students in the room are moving at their own pace, with focused minds, graceful movements and the same deep, steady and even breath. There is a rhythm to this breath. It has an almost hypnotic quality, continually drawing students inward to the present moment. Allowing them to experience their yoga practice for all it is in each moment…
It was 2008, I was traveling in India for the first time and immersing myself in Ashtanga Yoga. I’ll be honest, when I first traveled to Mysore, I was not a dedicated Ashtanga practitioner. I LOVED Ashtanga Yoga, I just didn’t practice it 6 days a week. Yet, I was ready to dive in and see what it would be like to commit to the daily Asthanga practice.
At this time, Guruji was still with us…