“Hoping for a future where people stop trying to do yoga poses & start reconnecting with their whole selves.”
Tara recently shared this on Facebook. It makes sense to a lot of people, this idea of getting into all of you – not just a few poses – by feeling. No worry about other people’s rules, no rigid ideas about “correct” ways to do things. Just using your yoga to practice what you want in your life.
Although, Tara’s writing did confuse a few people. Stop doing poses? You’re telling us to stop doing yoga?? How come you do poses??? Should we just all do super-booty-box-hopping???? Not exactly.
Of course, Tara is unlikely to suggest that people stop doing yoga. That would be silly! Tara is suggesting that people Start doing yoga.
Yoga, the useful kind, isn’t groups of “yoga experts” gathering around trying to push each other into poses. That’s just where many schools and teachers have put their focus in the last 100 years.
I’ve seen so many videos and live performances by yoga teachers forcing themselves and their “students” into contortionist backbends and binds, and straining into all kinds of arm balances and inversions.
They’re getting injured. They’re creating long-term chronic pain. They’re getting shoulder, hip, and knee replacements. Most importantly, with all this pushing and forcing, they’re practicing struggle and frustration in their yoga, and in their lives. All for the odd goal of nailing a pose.
In this kind of yoga, people are becoming less healthy, and less capable. So there is that kind of yoga. But yoga can do much better than that.
The challenge out in the world is, it’s not that people haven’t seen yoga. They have seen this yoga. They see that it’s weird, and not helpful for much of anything!
This makes things more challenging for the rest of us. Of course it’s a worthwhile challenge, because yoga can do a whole lot of good for people.
Yoga is not so useful when people confine themselves by the rules of their guru. Yoga is not so useful when people spend their time straining themselves into pose after pose. This is all an efficient way of hiding from difficulty in life. There is that kind of yoga, but it’s not the helpful kind.
Yoga is very useful when people don’t worry much about the rules other people use to confine themselves. It’s very useful when people get into themselves. There’s no struggle to fit into someone else’s shape, someone else’s rules, or someone else’s life. There’s just feeling into you, listening to what you feel, and making a life of what you hear.
The poses are there, but we’re not here to study poses. We’re also not here to memorize mythology and dead languages, change our names, or start acting “spiritual.” You’re here to get into you. Get really good at working with what you have. Poses aren’t the end point. You’re the end point. Everything that happens, happens right from here.
I’ve never seen anyone get particularly capable in yoga, or in life, by nailing themselves stiff and immovable into a “perfect” pose. I’ve seen people get extremely capable, in everything, by moving and exploring easily in their bodies and in their minds.
So if you see one of those “here’s how to push yourself into rajabadakapatapuzzi” circles, just keep on moving.
Make your own yoga, make your own life. There’s that kind of yoga, too. Spread the word.
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.