As related by Abbie Galvin. "In yoga practice the goal is not to find and hold the perfect pose, the goal is to find exhilaration in the practice and the community.
The goal is to move towards the archetypical poses. By changing your physiology you will change your mind and let go of whatever keeps you from finding bliss. You have to learn the technique by practicing over and over, and repeating the patterns until they become your second nature.
Practicing yoga is like becoming musician, the first step is to learn the scales and hit every note. A yoga class is not a performance where you have to make every pose perfect. Through the repetition of the patterns of movement you find exhilaration. Once you have learned the technique you are able to add the breathe. That is when you can be creative and become stellar.
A musician can only perform, compose, improvise, give shape to the notes once he or she has mastered the technique.
When you stop worrying about the performance you can learn to keep going for the "informance" and let go of whatever keeps you from moving forward and finding your potential.
You don't go to yoga class to be by yourself. You don't go to yoga to tune your instrument. You go to yoga class to be part a community and to move in unison like an orchestra playing a piece.
I practice a form of yoga (Katonah Yoga), whose teachers follow the Taoist belief that people follow different patterns because of the influences permanently imprinted upon them at birth. The philosophy is that patterns are repeated in your physiology and psychology, and that through yoga you can change yourself by finding new patterns that give you better function. The theory is that in yoga you should move towards archetypal poses with the goal of becoming perfectly balanced which will bring you joy and ultimately bliss. It is through the physical practice that you discover where you fit in the universe. It is a process of struggle rather than a static goal in which you constantly orient yourself towards the archetypical pose by facing and overcoming the influences of your personal experience. The theory is that it is easier to change your body than your mind and that once you change your physical body the mind will follow. "The goal is to have the capacity to fill your self with joy”. Abbie Galvin (http://bit.ly/ULTZRX) says, “Everybody’s goal is to have a body that is a well functioning container that can hold the elixir of life The goal is to have the structure so that you can now ask yourself how good can my life be? How well can I live?”
I was reminded recently while reading the novel 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, that in a sense we are all fighting against our own patterns, habits, and defects in order to find a better way to live.
Life is not like math or water: it doesn’t flow in one direction. We all struggle through our own patterns and our own pain to write a story that gives us "meaning."
In 1Q84, one of the characters,Tengo, says:
“'Math is beautiful because it's predictable and totally logical. Math is like water. It has a lot of difficult theories, of course, but its basic logic is very simple. Just as water flows from high to low over the shortest possible distance, figures can only flow in one direction. You just have to keep your eye on them for the route to reveal itself. That’s all it takes. You don’t have to do a thing. Just concentrate your attention and keep your eyes open, and the figures make everything clear to you. In this whole, wide world, the only thing that treats me so kindly is math.”
“Real life is different than math. Things in life don't necessarily flow over the shortest possible route. For me, math is — how should I put it? — math is all too natural. It's like beautiful scenery. It's just there. There's no need to exchange it with anything else. That's why, when I'm doing math, I sometimes feel I'm turning transparent. And that can be scary. ... When I'm writing a story, I use words to transform the surrounding scene into something more natural for me. In other words, I reconstruct it. That way, I can confirm without a doubt that this person known as 'me'”
In yoga as in real life is not like water or math; you have to be conscious to write your own story. You have fight against your natural propensities and habits that keep you from living your own life, to find your true or "second" nature. By practicing yoga you can fight to make your life more like water or math so that it flows in a direction that makes you full and brings you joy.
New York Times (blog) Ask Well: Does Yoga Build Strength? New York Times (blog) In general, the few available experiments involving yoga suggest that it leads to measurable but limited and patchy strength gains.
This is such an intelligent comment gsfrnklnMiami I will grant that my own experiences are anecdotal and without scientific rigor, but I find that the Iyengar yoga classes that I attend are extremely demanding. What these studies cited seem to miss is that the effects of yoga build up over time, and while it certainly improves overall health, it is not intended as exercise, which is a much more limited endeavor. Yoga is an active form of meditation, and its most important effects are mental and personal. In addition, most of the serious yoga practitioners I know have a daily practice as well as attending classes. If you ask these practitioners if yoga builds strength, I have no doubt they will say yes, and their practice will demonstrate that. However, they will also likely tell you that the strength built is essentially a side-effect of yoga. Yoga brings intelligence and awareness to the body in a way that wasn't there before. It's not just about how many pounds you can lift or how far you can run. I don't know whether it is possible to design a study to measure how yoga has affected the lives of the people who practice it. But, in the absence of such a study, I suggest people who are interested should study with a qualified teacher and see what happens. Aug. 8, 2014 at 10:25 p.m.
Parade 4 Surprising Yoga Sequences for Weight Loss Parade Anyone who's familiar with my workouts knows I love to leap around and lift heavy things. But yoga is also a key part of my fitness routine. I been practicing yoga for over ten years now.
From Katonahyoga.com "1 Nov 2013Nevine Michaan & Abbie Galvin When we take a yoga class, we are offered an opportunity to engage with others. Techniques are taught, shared, and practiced within the group. A w...
The magic is in Katonah yoga’s inclusive method in which everyone can learn the practice is to learn the folding and unfolding. You have to learn to fold in and out of each pose as if practicing origami.
Katonah Yoga’s methodology involves a practice of moving into each yoga posture in a specific manner. You learn to fold and unfold from one pose to the next similar to the origami art of paper folding. Each fold has to be correct before you can add another fold. You unfold in order to move to a different variation of the pose. In each pose you have to be in the middle of yourself and not over use one piece of your body.
Unlike the photos the poses are not static. You are constantly reorienting and moving yourself to the middle. You have to be stable to make a fold. To the extent that you cannot find the correct measure in class you learn to use the props to move towards the archetypal poses shown in the photos.
The community is that everyone has their foibles but is learning to get rid of their personal habits that don’t serve them. If you are very flexible and go too deep you can use blocks to create a boundary. If you are very stiff and can’t fold forward or back you can use blankets to give you height. In class you learn to find the right measure and what you need to do learn the form that gives you better function. You learn how to follow a compass and move your body in the right direction.
The goal is to move towards the archetypal poses. You have to learn the technique by practicing over and over, and repeating the patterns until they become your second nature.
12 Illuminating Sanskrit Words for Christmas Yoga Meditations Huffington Post As we move now toward the shortest day and longest night of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere), let's take a deeper look at yoga teachings on light and darkness and...
Something to think about on the way to class in the cold.
I'm having so much trouble understanding what the point is in going to yoga class when I have flat feet. I mean if there really is a pattern that repeats itself and my true nature is to be "flat "why bother? Why not just stay home sitting in Virasana?
Then I found myself reciting the lyrics from an REM song 'The Great Beyond' to explain to my daughter why she has to study for her Learner's Permit if she wants to learn how to drive. I told her you don't have to study the materials. but you have to have a learner's permit to enroll in Driver's Ed. It's your choice.It's like the lyrics to this song:
"I'm pushing an elephant up the stairs I'm tossing up punch lines that were never there Over my shoulder a piano falls Crashing to the ground
I'm breaking through I'm bending spoons I'm keeping flowers in full bloom I'm looking for answers from the great beyond"
I told her "I see the words and your quandary as sort of the great Yin and Yang of life." There are no easy answers...
And so Abbie Galvin explains: " Flat feet DO change, just as everything else does. The potential to change the wave of your feet and the arches of your body is your potential to change so that you can override your first nature, your genes, your deepest habits, to become the person you want to be. Your feet are always getting pressure from walking and supporting you. They take time... just like everything in life. Your feet have flattened over time and don't change overnight. it takes the repetition of re-educating them. And remember, your body is organic, and not rigid. and everything organic is living tissue: it moves, it is pliant, it has a pattern, and it can be manipulated, reformed, and renovated."
So maybe sometimes it is like pushing an elephant up the stairs, and sometimes a piano may crash," but then you "bend spoons and keep the flowers in bloom."Over time who knows maybe those flat feet will sprout some wings.
Iyengar and the Invention of Yoga The New Yorker In contemporary yoga classes, teachers often speak of Patanjali's “Yoga Sutras,” a philosophical text compiled around two thousand years ago, as the wellspring of the practice.
Iyengar describes yoga as a “timeless pragmatic science evolved over thousands of years dealing with the physical, moral, mental and spiritual well-being of man as a whole,” He knew from experience the dangers of forcing oneself into poses prematurely, and he set about developing a slower, more anatomically precise type of yoga, using props like blocks and blankets to help students find correct alignment
Adults who did yoga three times a week for eight weeks improved their performance on tests of their brains' executive function, while adults who did a stretching and strengthening program for the same time didn't, according to research published in...
5 Yoga Practices That Beat Stress Huffington Post In yoga,"fight" response thoughts may sound like mental digs, whispering negative thoughts that are directed at yourself (I have no balance), or even your instructor (She's talking too much) or...
GUEST MENTOR Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva: We badly need more women entrepreneurs. Companies with women in meaningful leadership roles have a greater chance at success than those without. Return on equity is higher.
Burning Squats Yoga Sequence: Your Jeans Will Say "More Please!" FitSugar.com Your legs and tush don't ask for much, but if you listen closely, all they want is one small thing: you, on your mat, and five minutes of your time.