Friday, August 29, 2008

My philosophy and teaching style (part 2)

A good friend of mine, Prasis, who said he overheard some members in Fitness First talking about how they didn't like my class there because they didn't sweat.

I'm just here to clarify. Prasis is probably one of the very few students in gym who GET my teaching. I guide the class in such a way it leads to self acceptance, self enquiry and inner calm. The metaphores or phrases I use, I try my best not to produce a competitive attitude in class. Yoga is NOT A COMPETITION. People fail to realise, or perhaps ignorant about it. Ignorance(Avidya in Sanskrit; is one of the 5 kleshas ascribed in the Yoga Sutra which creates karmic binds, troubles and afflictions). I really don't get it, why some yoga teachers want to create competition within their students in class. That is not the point of yoga. We all have different bodies and will progress differently, all our paths will be different, leading to the same goal.

My teacher once told me, if you can breathe, you can do yoga. And true to her words, in the Yoga Sutras, it tells of methods of reaching liberation only through breath work and watching our yamas and niyamas, without asana(postures). In fact the yoga sutras hardly even talk about asanas. Hatha yoga, is a school of thought which is an indirect product of Tantra yoga. Again, the word Tantra itself produces a right handed view and left handed view, but I'll leave that for another day.

So my teaching is more focused on inner breath and a the feeling of lightness and freedom, feelings of which can be described by my students who really follow my methods. Again I don't claim to be better than any other yoga teacher, I only put emphasis on facets which I feel brings a inner change, a different quality to practice. I don't just teach, I give you an idea of how it should feel, and let you explore. I'm not rigid in my teaching, afterall, the more relaxed you are in your practice, the more you will experience effortless effort.

Osho once said, learn the techniques, learn them well, then let go of them completely. I believe he had reasons why he said it. I can give you an example of modern time where this is applied. Ever seen the Diana Krall advert for some high end watch? It says her going to music school, makes her a schooled musician, but breaking the rules makes her a jazz musician. Exactly what Osho was trying to tell us, just to be ourselves, we can learn techniques, learn every detail, learn it so well you can do it in your sleep, but afterthat, forget it all and just be yourself. I think we can attain a certain joyfulness in that. To just drop who we think we are, and just be.

My words don't really matter, and what I say shouldn't be taken into serious discrimination, I prefer you approach my words and my teaching with a light heart and openess because at the end of the day, the best thing you can give yourself, is you.

Namaste.