“The intent of asana is that you are calm in the midst of turbulence. The success…of your practice should be judged by how well you remain centered in the midst of change. Not your leg behind your head or handstand in the middle of the room. Success of asana is measured by how well you deal with the challenges of life.”
- B.K.S. Iyengar
I recently began working with a group of students who are used to a different teaching style - as well as a different form of asana practice. Many of the students have come from a Vinyasa Flow background - one where they are not spending as much time with or in postures. This has opened their eyes up to a new insight on what yoga is or can be. With this change, some students seem to be rebelling, while others are thriving, becoming more interested and excited.
A few students have noted that this "new style" is much more intense. Many of them backing away from poses, claiming that they are too difficult. Many of them want to rush in and out of poses, not spending the time to feel the pose.
Over and over again, this quote from B.K.S. Iyengar has been coming to mind. Yoga is not just rushing through the familiar - moving through life in the same routine. Likewise, our practice should also be different - attempting to enter into poses in different ways, hold poses, feel poses, and try to find that calm. By doing so, we can then take those lessons into our lives outside of class. Learning to deal with the challenges of life, without the story, excuses, or victim stance.
For beginners, this is not easily accessible. As teachers, I feel it is our duty to keep things new - constantly bringing new challenges, or entering a familiar practice in a new way.
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