Wednesday evening yoga returns tonight (8 January)
During my last yoga study group, another teacher asked: ‘When did yoga become about relaxation?’ I can’t stop thinking about this question. I suspect the need to disengage with the busyness of life has redefined the perception of what yoga is. The trouble with the word ‘relaxation’ is that it can be viewed as disengaging. Emptying the mind. Allowing the body to switch off.
Our focus for this term is: Yoga is engagement. It is an active (but gentle) process to find presence of mind and to be in the world, not separate from it. It is to be aware. To know what is going on internally so that we understand our reactions to the external and sit with those reactions so we can find our response. In a world of immediacy this is really really important.
I have (finally) started reading a new book published by my teachers’ Ranju Roy and Dave Charlton: Embodying the Yoga Sutra: Support Direction Space. The book focuses on 17 key sutras. The first chapter begins at the start of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. It brings the focus back to what yoga is. It’s tempting to write out the whole chapter … however these are some of the reflections to support our practice this term:
I was then sent a link to a YouTube video of TKV Desikachar in 1996, talking about his book the Heart of Yoga. Desikachar was the son of Krishnamacharya. If you have a half hour to sit and watch I really encourage you to do so. The conversations are done in a question and answer format. Some ideas support our theme for the term: