[Photo by Lauren Nelson] One of the trademark poses in yoga…
It’s interesting how having a new set of eyes watching you practice suddenly wakes you up! I found myself putting in my best effort; what was routine on Thursday was fresh and exciting on Friday. Practicing with a lot of people in the room is also pretty cool (or should I say warm?) especially in winter. The energy of the group carries you and it’s easier to concentrate.
It was also nice to have time to spend with my classmates after practice. Mysore style is a curious practice. You don’t really get a chance to chat with your classmates, even though you see them on the mat every day. This is because each person moves through their sequence at their own pace; we start and finish at different times and then we rush off to work. It’s nice to have this extra time to connect and spend time together.
Greg has a lovely energy and embodies some great qualities for a teacher: he is focused, precise and gentle. Here are some words he spoke that resonated with me:
Yoga is not something that we do, yoga is something we experience.
I like hearing this because it reminds me that the achievements of yoga aren’t something you can measure from the outside. They are not directly related with the physical abilities of the practitioner, but reside in the individual experience. The asana practice is a tool to experience yoga or “union” for ourselves.
We keep the yoga tradition alive through the student-teacher relationship and through the daily exploration on the mat.
This sentence resonates with me because I like to think of yoga as alive; this is why it can’t be reduced just to a set of exercises and techniques. To preserve its integrity yoga is passed on from person to person, from teacher to student. This relationship is as fascinating as it is complex… Besides this one has the responsibility to cultivate yoga for themselves, on their mat. A friend of mine says: “if you forget about it [yoga] it will forget you.”
Yoga gives us more will, more strength to make better choices.
..to act with integrity, according to our values.