For me, true ‘Yoga’, is a way of recognising we are all connected as one, within ourselves, and between each other. Yoga reflects and resonates with a way of feeling content with how we are, with where we are, and with who we are, throughout our lives, but especially in the present moment.
I think three things need to be addressed to make modern yoga effective and sustainable:
(1) Modern yoga needs to recognise that we are no longer natural bodies. Our mostly sedentary chair-based life-styles have resulted in a prevalence of stiff weak hips, knees, shoulders and spine, over-stressed physiology and overly competitive and/or lazy minds. These things need to be taken into account when modern yoga is taught and practiced. We need to adapt traditional yoga for the modern body.
(2) We need to understand what was traditional yoga and how it was taught for a minimal of 7-10 years with 6-10 hours per day before you considered to have even begun to understand yoga let alone teach it. You cannot in any way do this in the minimal time people are training for these days. In addition to having mastered yogic techniques the modern teacher should really have the understanding and experience of a modern Western doctor, a physiotherapist and psychologist all in one. It is not wrong to do a 200 hour training course but it is more like doing a first aid medical course and less like a medical training in heart surgery. Therefore, most yoga teachers should be teaching only very simple practices.
(3) The teaching and practice of modern yoga should include an intelligent application of the philosophy of yoga that manifests anatomically and physiologically in the practice. Yoga should not only develop a healthy muscle and joint system but should also encourage the circulation of ‘good energy’ (enhanced circulation without need to increase heart rate) and ‘loving information’ (a balanced nervous system with a parasympathetic dominance). *
200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training in Salento, Italy starts in May. Find out more.
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