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Full immersion in Yoga

smstout192010-07-04 23:09:45 +0000 #1
If an individual is experiencing difficulty with asanas, I believe this can result in an unwillingness to fully immerse oneself in a yoga practice - and that resistance will ultimately doom them. What should a person do if this happens to them?
Pandara2010-07-04 23:26:10 +0000 #2

Thanks for the post.

I was blessed with a very patient and compassionate teacher who always emphasized that yoga is for everybody, you must just find your niche in it and be accepting of the fact that you cannot do everything. Her emphasis was to rather excel in the asanas you can do and to do them well with a lot of awareness.

Yes, people fall away along the way, but I strongly believe there are other and deeper reasons such as karmic links. Also remember some people attempt yoga and it might be the first time ever in all their incarnations they attempt it (from there the unwillingness perhaps to fully immerse themselves in yoga), but next incarnation they will pick up from where they left and will go a little further next time around. I also belief that yes it can discourage people if they find the asanas too difficult, but this is the challenge for me as a teacher, to show them alternatives which may suit him or her better than what I originally suggested. I think people leave yoga and become uninterested because the teacher doesn't recognise the need for alternative poses.

How do you approach these people? I belief with lots of encouragement, compassion and with the emphasis on tolerance of their limitations and that it is ok not to be perfect in all the asanas. If they do left, I as the teacher must accept that it was not meant for them to be with me as their teacher and ask myself what I can do different to help such an individual next time around.
smstout192010-07-04 23:47:18 +0000 #3
I agree. Only those who are willing to learn and have the desire will be successful - in anything they do! This is a great example of knowing when to let go (non-attachment).
Nichole2010-07-04 23:58:25 +0000 #4
this question and answer also appear as part of this thread:


Originally Posted by smstout19

If an individual is experiencing difficulty with

asanas, I believe this can result in an unwillingness to fully immerse oneself in a yoga practice - and that resistance will ultimately doom them. What should a person do if this happens to them?

I have been thinking about your last question. I need to choose another word other than "doom" to answer though.

Here are 3 types of "difficulties" with Yoga practice that I have seen for myself, with my friends and colleagues and with clients: 1) difficulty arising from doing a practice or an aspect of practice of improperly, 2) Not adapting Yoga practice to the individual (approaching this through the tools of koshas, gunas and doshas) and 3) Experiencing pain in your koshas as you shake off the numbness and wake up. I believe you are speaking, more or less, of number 3. I am right about that? This is the point that I will speak to.

I think that going deep into a practice and committing yourself to be open-hearted, open-minded, to have a teacher who will help see through where your mind gets hooked by fear, anger, confusion, etc., and to rest when you need it will help you in burning through your karma. That commitment comes in many forms, but all keep you close to those tender parts of you that get scared and angry and confused; your immersion is your promise to yourself to never abandon yourself in the face of it and to also keep a wise, healthy and compassionate pace to the process. You need to be able to integrate the fruits of your practices and that means loving kindness and sweet patience. I know there a few members who share here that say one does not need a teacher, but I respectfully disagree. I think that there are very few in this world do not need a teacher to offer them unshakable and loving reflection. When Mukunda speaks to us about working with clients, he often says that when people don't come back for sessions, that it means that the practices are working. The emotions around a particular issue become more intense than appears to be manageable, at least for now. We all need a rest, a chance to regroup before going back in to do this holy work. Some people are not interested in doing this type of work and they simply want what can be offered in a hour-long asana class and that is OK too. As practitioners, we need to honor it all. Rather than being doomed, I think we will just get more opportunities to work through what we need to work through. And we get those opportunities until it completed. As Pema Chodren says, this is the wisdom of no escape!

What should a person do?

Cultivate Yoga practices that connects them to their inner teacher, their Sadguru. Everything else, in the Sadguru's grace, will fall into place as it should.

With my respect and love,
smstout192010-07-05 00:34:55 +0000 #5
Beautifully worded and very well articulated Nichole. Thank you!
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 23:32:24 +0000 #6
We are already immersed in a yoga practice. It is merely the veil of ignorance that prevents us from seeing it.
smstout192010-07-05 00:08:47 +0000 #7
Excellent point InnerAthlete. I truly think the most beneficial aspect of my yoga practice, aside from the renewed flexibility, is the overall calming effect it has had on me. I have learned to handle nearly every crisis with ease, knowing that serenity, peace and love is just around the corner. And it always is.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 01:14:07 +0000 #8
Best assessed when you are cut off on the freeway at high speed, in line at the grocery store, or confronted by your spouse, child, sibling, or parent.

It is quite easy for me to be calm and peaceful in the comfort of my own home with my earth shoes and hemp clothing. Place me in the scenarios outlined in the first paragraph and we may have another story.



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