Friday, 6 September 2019

Namaste, 2019 Yoga Teacher Trainees at Yoga Within!

Marigolds, representing "Plasticity"
A heartfelt welcome to the new 2019/2020 class of Hatha Yoga Teacher Trainees at Yoga Within!

I wish you all the cheerfulness and flexibility you will need to navigate this lifelong journey of personal transformation.

I'm aware that in this age of prolific body-centered practice, studying the origin, history, and philosophy of yoga may seem a bit... extra.  

Yoga (or more precisely, the practice of yoga asanas) has become a global phenomenon and a multi-billion dollar industry.  Millions of people in Canada alone now participate in classes, workshops, and retreats.  Remarkably, the numbers keep growing.

While some think philosophy and history are irrelevant to yoga today or that philosophy is something "other people" think about, actually, There is no one who does not have a philosophy.  Learning about the origins and intentions of Classical Yoga can help us to identify and examine our own philosophy (and hypocrisy) in yoga and in life.

Knowing where the teachings come from, how they blended into modern culture, and how experts see them trending in the future can make you a more critical (I don't mean judgemental) and engaged student. It can also make you a more informed and professional Yoga Teacher.

Today's yoga teachers need to navigate issues of cultural and spiritual sensitivity.  They encounter students from many backgrounds and educational frameworks.  In order to address the wide range of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social issues students seek out yoga to address, it is essential to be aware of the "big picture".  Having as many tools in your box as possible allows you to excel when preparing and presenting yoga to individuals or groups and have a positive impact on your students and your community.

Many yoga teacher trainees are surprised to discover that this part of their education is not boring or dry.  It does not require a brilliant mind or running away to a cave.  Rather, it is a way to examine and articulate your own values and goals.  It allows you to engage with the purpose behind the practice.  It develops compassion and respect for the ideas and ideals of all Yogis and Yoginis, past, present, and future.

I hope to convey some of my enthusiasm and spark your curiosity about Yoga's original language, oral history, and works of world-literature as well as the fascinating cast of characters who have brought Yoga to Atha, or "this moment" which all of our previous experience, contemplation, education, and practice have prepared us for.

"And now the teaching on Yoga begins." P.Y.S. 1.1


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