Yoga is not Asana

Recently, I met up with a couple yoga friends of mine, and I was both surprised and excited by the fact that we had all, independently, become students of three different master teachers.  What do these teachers have in common?  All of them are teaching that yoga is something much bigger than the asana practice.

Here's Rod Stryker:

Not unlike what my teacher, Erich Schiffman is saying, a lot less delicately when he says, “Yoga is an investigation into WTF is going on!”

At the end of our time together last week, Paul Grilley was saying that, if you are looking at the yoga postures as something to achieve, you are missing the point.  He said that sooner or later, every pose you practice will be limited by your bones.  You won't be able to advance any more.  You need to be prepared for that time, and ask yourself … Why are you practicing yoga?

Of course, physically, it is good to move your body to the fullest range of motion on a regular basis.  Asana feels good to do.  It's fun.  It will make your body healthier, stronger, more balanced, more flexible … all that good stuff they tell you about yoga.  Asana is wonderful tool to become connected to your inner wisdom, and it's a wonderful tool for building community in a classroom, but it is not the only way, and it is not the end-all-be-all of yoga.

I feel really fortunate that as a relatively young yogini, and as a relatively baby teacher, I have come to this realization.  And from what Paul implied at the workshop, there are plenty of yoga superstars that are still grasping with that one, and are bitter, ugly people who happen to be able to do amazing things with their body. 

I have come to love my meditation practice.  I love sitting and listening to what God has to say to me.  I love taking the time to honor that I, as tiny as I may be, am divinely inspired.  I love looking out on my students, my dance sisters, my family, people passing by and seeing that they are divinely inspired, too. 

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this at the moment, but I wanted to share that I think this is a very exciting time in my own personal practice and my teaching, and I think it's an exciting time for yogis worldwide, as people are waking up to the possibility that there is more outside of us and inside of us practically leaping to create positive change in the world.

Namaste, people!  The goodness in me sees the goodness in you!