12 Jun Yoga Is Not To Blame!
How does it feel when someone blames you for something or anything? Not nice right? Yoga has become so mainstream and blown into a million dollar industry in such a short time span that now it gets pin pointed for injuries, narcissism, depression and the list goes on! Yoga becoming so popular nowadays it does come at a price. It comes with ramifications, good and bad. The good is more and more people are practicing the ancient practice of yoga and allowing themselves to heal, connect and come to a place of well being. The bad, well, yoga is getting tarnished fitting into the practitioners perception of it all and bringing it further away from its roots – Mind Body Breath Connection. A Spiritual practice. A practice of humbling, evolving and transforming. Sometimes, Yoga is used as just a bunch of exercises where it will then be more like gym yoga or simple stretches. In an actual yoga studio or practice, these are not exercises or stretches, they are called asanas. Asanas are deliberately there for us to explore our inner dimensions. Both the gross body (Annamaya Kosha) all the way into the subtle body (Anandamaya Kosha). Let us explore why yoga gets blamed sorry to say:
Yoga Injuries: As soon as a practitioner gets hurt during a yoga practice they turn to yoga as the culprit. Well, there are a couple of reasons very briefly why one may get hurt during yoga. a) More often the body was not warmed up enough to do the particular asana. b) The person pushed too far to contort due to ego (which is very popular these days). c) In a gym yoga class the teacher or student did a pose without thorough knowledge or the correct building up towards the challenge pose. The teacher usually teaching yoga in the gym has to take a different hat and make it more exercise based than spiritually based. Drawing the practice to come from a “no pain no gain” set up rather than “gain with no pain” that you would find traditionally in a yoga studio.
Unfortunately in my experience I am finding more and more students practicing asanas out of ego and to show the room what they can achieve rather than listening to their physical limitations and Inner Guru (teacher). Students push and push and load and load so much the physical body just cannot handle it anymore and it breaks down! Or the student does not follow the teachers sequencing and resolves to do some random pose only to find it was not the best option, hence leading to injury then points the blame to the teacher. Be Obedient, do the practice obediently wherever you are, gym or studio. I teach Dharma yoga. This style is very competent on backbending. I started off very gentle and built myself up gradually. Like building blocks the practice went from beginner to intermediate/advance – pace by pace is the safest and the most intelligent way to go. Not the Ego way! Then the yoga leads to a road of longevity. Remember the good old saying, “Don’t run til you can walk”! This is good advice for yoga nowadays.
Depression: Yoga stirs things up inside of us that we may have thought was long forgotten and done and dealt with. When actual fact it was just brushed underneath the carpet ready to surface and come present for a once and for all resolution. The deeper you go into the practice the deeper you go into the subtle layers of yourself. Trauma and other repressed memories that we may have thought was long forgotten hits us like a lightening bolt. I can speak from my own personal experience on this one. When I had finished my 200hr Teacher Training all kinds of childhood memories erupted catapulting me to a place of pure darkness and terrible depression on top of some bad accidents that had taken place. However, I knew this was temporary and that I had to use the yoga that I had come to learn to heal me. Or, I travel down a very, very dark road. I meditated more, forced myself to only think of the positives in my life, the blessings and so forth (I know this is not at all easy when you are already experiencing pain) but this was a deliberate mindset. If I did not take that avenue then I would hate to think what would have transpired from that bout of depression. Let the yoga heal you alongside professional help if needed and a tremendous support structure. Yoga is going to bring situations to surface. Try your best to listen to the emotions and feel the pain and the pleasures of it. Practice yoga, meditate, eat satvic foods, keep satvic thoughts, sleep as best as you can and all of those things rather than stopping the practice of yoga because of fear that it will erupt more bad memories and situations. Always listen to your own inner teacher deep within your heart. Come to a place of healing, forgiveness and positiveness.
Asana of the week: Hanumanasana & Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (Yoga Splits dedicated to the Monkey God Hanuman and One Legged Pigeon Pose)
Hips are a good starting point to release traumatic events and allow a passive release. Feeling settled in the posture, allowing tissue surrendering and just coming to a place of solitude and openness is Yoga in its best form. Working with the breath, strengthening and seeking flexibility in the hips as well as throughout the muscular skeletal body is a crucial focal point. Just sitting and being with the soul. Nourishing the nervous system and accepting what is and what is not. We shall also hold Halasana (plough pose) longer than usual for the thyroid gland to get balanced and conditioned.
Mantra for this week: Mere Gurudev
This is not a vedic mantra but a new one composed by Krishna Das