Whenever I tell people I teach yoga, they always ask me, what type of yoga I teach?
This question always stumps me…I hesitate and my response always varies - leaving me feeling in-congruent, like I’ve confused both the person asking the question as well as myself.
The truth is, I don’t have a clear and concise answer. I sense some inner conflict and contradiction within me. I feel I know the answer, yet I am unable to access it or am afraid to articulate it.
Before I answer, I feel myself mentally qualifying and filtering my response. Who is asking & why ? How should I answer this? Are they really interested? What are my motives ? Do I want to impress them with my knowledge about yoga or will I scare them and confuse them ? How much time do I want to give this question ? Should I give them a short answer, just so we can move on, or a philosophical response ?
My response is also often coloured by the many notions and branding of yoga out in the ‘marketplace’, as well as my own ideas and perceptions about how people understand these. I think you are getting the picture by now that I don’t know how to answer this question.
To keep it simple, I tell them, I am a qualified, Hatha yoga teacher and often have to explain what Hatha yoga is and then sometimes what asana is and then about the eight limbs of yoga - etc…
My personal yoga journey has taken me on many different yogic trails. I have an in- exhaustive passion and enthusiasm for all things yoga. I have spent the last decade learning, practicing and more recently teaching yoga. It is what I love most and is my purpose, my dharma!
The purpose of this blog is to answer this question for myself. If I am to be the best yoga teacher I can be, I need to have a clear answer that is authentic and congruent to me.
Sri Aurobindo, the Indian philosopher and yogi, said that “all life is yoga” – this is the best explanation. We are eternally seeking union, completeness, wholeness.
Yoga is the sum totality, the oneness, the ultimate union of all existence. The one in all and the all in one – nothing escapes yoga. The individual, the collective, this cosmos is evolving toward a state of yoga, whether you practice yoga or not! The design is intrinsic in our conscious existence. It is in everything from plants, to animals and humans and the cosmos itself, unaware to most, we are all marching along this evolutionary path, returning back to the ‘source’ to wholeness – to YOGA, whence we came.
The yoga I teach is this. That we are all connected and part of this grand design. That all life is precious.
Since we are all units of this totality, we all have the memory of this whole and a longing to return to this ‘‘oneness’’. We also posses the same essence and qualities of it along with an in-built purpose which is part of this grand design. We are here to figure this out.
It begins with asking the question, ‘who am I?’.
Our first aim is to realise this. This is the awakening that starts you on the journey to understand and know the Self and towards Self realisation. Once established in the Self, we can move onto the next question of why am I here and what is this all about?
Yoga is this journey of the Self, through the Self, to the Self - The Yoga of the Bhaghavad Gita!
For me, this search for Yoga is ongoing……..