09 March 2008
I get emails from people who comment on my posts, and the one below is from a friend in the yoga-rich San Francisco area who gave me permission to quote her (the emphasis is added.)
it does this old gal's heart good to know that people read my yoga musings and are inspired to respond with such depth, and that I am not the lone voice in this modern yoga wilderness. plus she loves YogaDawg...:)
food for thought, talk amongst yourselves.....
"I am with you totally. I tell myself its just the Kali Yuga, our current era, which is known for shit being passed out as the truth. Now of course, my own beloved Siddha Yoga is the truth for me, but clearly born out of traditional Indian style yoga. When you mentioned the teacher in Chennai telling you its all about the relationship between teacher and student: that is my understanding of yoga as well.
So here I am, a physically "plus" sized gal, practicing Siddha Yoga for 25+ years. Love it when the physical, young folks taking their first yoga classes tell me how buff and happy they are now since taking ashtanga yoga classes. I tell them I also do yoga, practiced for all those years, lived in an ashram in India....and just look at their crazed reaction. Then I add that yoga, as practiced in India, is not just about how your body looks, but HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE: its all about love, baby. Not hearts and flowers love. The love you feel before you take actions. And that DOES NOT always mean to speak in a soft, spiritual voice, or to never feel anger, or to remove yourself from the world and live in a cave.
I liked your bit about the "price of yoga". People will pay more to have their dog shit picked up than shuck out some do-re-me for individual instruction. Dakshina -- it's one of the practices of Siddha Yoga, I'm happy to say. Pay nothing, get nothing. Personal transformation? What's that???
Once you get the taste of real homestyle cook'n, a MacDonald's salad will never be the same. Its very difficult to articulate this concept to people coming to you to get their butts tight. How can I tell them about the personal yoga lessons was with my guru: one of the most transformative things that ever happened to me was when she hit me on the head with a marble. another time she hit me over the head with a wand of peacock feathers. What happened inside of me changed my headspace, my approach to life, everything, all in one small, silent and seemingly insignificant moment. Changed me for life. Saw life differently, and I must say, for the better, from then on.
IMHO, you've been turned onto homestyle cooking by your teachers in Chennai. once that door is open, you can't go back. and you want your students to see it too: you are a teacher, you care for your students, you have integrity, and you don't want them to settle for less. but they're not asking for what you have to give. frustrating, isn't it!
Got to say, I just love that Yogadawg's perspective. here's someone, online, who is putting it out there, confronting the US mass consumption style ideas about yoga. he's a real "satsang" type. in Siddha Yoga, one of the practices, just like in Buddhist tradition, is to "keep the company (of others) who are seeking the truth".
I do hope you'll be able to do a 6 month stay in Chennai, being a student at the place you've been going to. now that "yoga" has become just a work-out for the trendy, with so many looking for their physical fix...to me, you have found a real gem in Chennai. Once you experience the true power of Homestyle Yoga, there is only one way to go: return and learn more."