Many Paths, One Yoga

TYG meeting

The more I learn, the less I know that I “know.”

It was tough for me to see the yoga community I was part of for 2 years dissolve as the studio closed in May. Like your first love, this community was my first experience as a yoga teacher … & while I was nervous EVERY DAY teaching class, I was excited to share the practices that have supported me over the past 10 years. The Love Yoga community was small & dedicated, about the art & science of Yoga, & generous in the community. A place & people I came to know & felt known.

I was honored to teach the final classes before the doors closed, & practice a final closing meditation — thankful for Kristin’s vision & for teaching alongside Kristin & Alycia, & offering the benefits of our work to the Universe.

Fast forward to July ⏩

I’m attending my first team meeting at The Yoga Garden (TYG). A new community, a new vibe, new opportunities. I’m nervous again … it takes me a while to warm up to new situations 😉. There’s positive energy from fellow teachers, & new vision for me to absorb & share.

A new place to know & to be known. And to realize (again) how LITTLE I know — which is exciting.

Yoga comprises a variety of paths. The staff at TYG travel with & share different yoga traditions, each with time-tested teachings & practices. I find it fascinating to learn about the similarities & differences. Here’s a book on my list, suggested by TYG cofounder Caitlin, about her tradition of Kundalini yoga:

Are you attracted to a certain teacher’s style or practice? Ask where they’re coming from — what’s the philosophy & science behind their teaching? Wht did their training look like? What does their practice look like today? Who are their teachers, & how do they stay connected to their tradition? (I’m open to innovation, don’t get me wrong … AND I am wary when a teacher is unable to offer the tradition / teachers from which their practice originates.)

There are many paths in Yoga … & yet if there’s ONE THING you remember from my ramblings today, remember this: Yoga is not exercise.

(in the Western definition of exercise as “fitness”)

There is so much more to “Yoga” than physical postures … In my experience, the American “yoga industry” has introduced millions to yoga (yay!) … AND done yoga a great disservice by advertising yoga as fitness, a weight-loss program, or a way to get a toned butt.

Many of us — including me — came to yoga with fitness in mind. And that’s ok! The physical aspect of Yoga often makes us “just feel better.” Great!

And then we find our breath, & that we can manipulate the breath for our well-being. We notice our mind, how often it RUNS away, & that we can practice ways to be more fully present. We realize Yoga teaches lifestyle practices off the mat that bring harmony & ease.

Let’s acknowledge how little we knew that first mat practice, how much there is to learn, & be bold in sharing the depth & breadth that is Yoga.

I’d love to hear from you — how has your knowledge & practice expanded since your first encounter with yoga? What have you learned? What do you want to learn?

While I await your thoughts, a few notes:

— I’ll be out adventuring from August 12th to the 26th. Classes at The Avenue will resume August 27th!

— I invite you to check out the variety of class options at The Yoga Garden … Try a new style, & ask your teacher about his/her teachers & tradition.

— Check out the Garden Party on August 19th! Info below:

A quote I’m loving right now: “We are all just walking each other home.” Many paths, one Yoga.

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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