Grounding Anusara Yoga – a rebuttal
I’ve been asking by many about my take on the Anusara debacle. I wasn’t moved to write until I read this blog post : grounding anusara 2: a brief ayurvedic follow-up consultation by Matthew Remski. I commented on his blog below, and decided to paste it here for your perusal.
In typical pitta-kapha fashion, I haven’t resigned… yet. I love the method. We’ll see if the ‘man’ behind the method is a true man, clears his name, and seeks redemption. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll last as an un-resigned teacher… or if there will be anything left from which to resign. I’m very intrigued with the shift in organizational structure, on a meta-level. I sense the guru-head teacher -CEO-paradigm is almost officially over and an explosion of teachings beginning.
(On a personal note, a few years ago I found John’s teachings lacking depth and his responsiveness lacking integrity. I “left” John as a spiritual student then, without resigning, and took up with Craig Hamilton. Largely, because of this, I’ve been disgusted, but not heartbroken by the expose.)
In any case, you might read Matthew’s post, before reading my response. You may find insights in Ayurveda and the Anusara methodology. Write your comments below.
How interesting to connect around this topic with you. We’ve chatted before, but you might not remember me. As a Certified Anusara Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Practitioner of over a decade, I’m fascinated by your post.
First off, I don’t think your assessment is correct on John Friend’s doshic imbalances.
My sense is it’s actually a pitta imbalance at the heart of it. Tamasic pitta in the manovahasrota. Detox. Gotu Kola. Kutki. Guduchi. Penance. This man needs bitter and astringent more than sour and salty. And not too much sweet for awhile.. unless we’re talking butter lettuce. Of course, you can stack a vata imbalance on top of that (& kapha too, for that matter), but at the heart of the vikruti, I’d bet on pitta. Take care of the vata with dina and ritu charya and the pitta with diet, herbs, and detox.
Okay, that was just for kicks.
The heart of the matter lies below. Please note, I write this out of interest in the methodology of Yoga and Ayurveda, and not in defense of John Friend.
Can we know universal truths?
I sense the grandiosity of claiming “Universal Principles” for you is limited to Anusara, but exclusive of Ayurveda. However, I sense you making the same claims of Ayurveda.
What I find most interesting is a lack of discrepancy where you find discrepancy. For instance, you state, “Ayurvedic therapy begins here: identifying a central imbalance, and applying balancing/opposing forces to existing vulnerabilities.” And then you state, “The therapeutic application of opposites is antithetical to a culture that markets ideas of universality and ultimacy. The very notion of “Universal Principles” implies that a single thing can be good or right for everyone. Obviously, this is not true.”
You are referring to the “Universal Principles of Anusrara Yoga”. In my understanding of the Anusara methodology is that:
(1) Identify a central imbalance happens through what we call first principle in Anusara – opening to the largest perspective.
(2) Use opposites to cultivate dynamic balance.
The uniqueness is packed with the universality. Obviously, this is a meta-level question. We’re unlimited beings in limited form. The form has attributes. To treat imbalance, we go back to center – away from the pole we’ve been heading towards. There is no difference in the philosophical systems here.
To Bend Backwards or to Root?
Secondly, I strongly disagree with this: “For those who feel alienated from community and withdrawn from intimate contact, the ubiquitous backbending of Anusara might indeed “open the heart”.” I’m not sure where it’s ubiquitous to backbend in Anusara. Skillful Anusara teachers around the globe help their students move energy into their legs and generate apana vayu… especially when their students are alienated. Opening the heart comes in a variety of forms. As part of teaching first principle in Anusara, we consciously set our foundation (connection to Earth). We are well-aware of the stimulating quality of backbends and the grounding benefits of folding forward.
Thirdly, I’m not sure how to read this statement:, “I would imagine that many people leaving the Anusara fold at this point have stayed just long enough to find out what they don’t need.” I hope I’m misreading a tone of superiority in your voice. Most of the teachers I know who are leaving are masterful, dedicated yogis and yoginis. They didn’t just stroll through Anusara and stay “just long enough”. Many, if not most, found truths in the method, as you and I have found truths in Ayurveda. The ones who stayed, “just long enough” aren’t creating this massive ripple through the contemporary yoga world. The ones who have had an earnest, ethical departure are distilling the truths of the method from the founder. This should invoke respect from anyone who has learned a deeper truth from a teacher.
For some reason, this brings back a memory of when I was studying with Dr. Vasant Lad in his clinic in Pune, India. Dr. Lad is into Jyotish, I’m sure you know. He read my chart and told me I was abused in my childhood. I instantly knew he was wrong. And he was wrong. Previous to this moment, I wanted to believe everything Dr. Lad said was true. I was in a gurukula program and he was the guru. It took him telling me my parents horribly and repeatedly abused me from reading an astrology chart, and then him telling me I was in denial of it, for me to get that this wonderful vaidya too had many limitations. All of the sudden I could extract the man from the method. This is what is happening with Anusara.
Your evaluations of the Tantric teachings of Shri and Kula:
As this post applies to the Anusara version of Tantra, we’ll stick with that.
Shri taught in Anusara is part of the attitude of seeing the good, yet not at the exclusion of opening to the largest perspective. That comes first, as I explained above. Shri, in Anusara terminology is an agreement that life (ayus) is inherently positive. I explain it like this: if life is neutral, how can you explain your instrinic care? Feel how much you care… for whatever you care about (truth, morality, beauty). That is the positive force of life. When we engage with the life positive perspective, we are seeing the Shri. In the face of the demise of John Friend, I practice “seeing the shri”, by holding an attitude of curiosity of the evolution of yoga organizations. The paradigm of guru-leader-CEO might be ending and something new emerging. How cool is this? And…why not educate and speak of balancing the bijas, “lam” with “shri”? This is how it would be taught in Anusara…. and Ayurveda.
Kula is a simple teaching of that it takes a community to do yoga. It takes a community to know who we are. It takes a community to see and support our growing edges.
Kula is not estranged from our beloved Ayurveda, and holds the same meaning. This is why Dr. Lad named the program of taking a handful of students into his country, his clinic, his farm and his home his “gurukula” program. The community that gathers around the teachings. We know that only in community, only in relationship, can we really know the whole of “ayus”. Of course, we are the whole, so how can we do Yoga, how can we awaken, if not in relationship with the teachings, the teacher, and our fellow journeymen?
Matthew, I know you’re a smart man. I ask you to sharpen up in providing service to yogis worldwide. Your review, while it has entertaining moments and flashes of insight, lacks the depth you’ve previously demonstrated.
Thanks for reading,
matthew remskiPosted at 12:06h, 05 March
thanks for the thoughtful analysis. this is rare in our culture: an old-fashioned ayurveda-off! perhaps the first thing to note is that the pitta we share will radiate and perhaps clash in this exchange, but that true to form, my vata secondary will tend to bob and feint, while your secondary kapha may stand more firmly on the side of tradition. but it takes all types.
i do agree that John’s deeper vikriti is pitta: i went with the ayur-101 strategy of pacifying vata first to get a clearer impression as to what’s really there, but also in acknowledgement that he’s clearly been on a dissociative high-flying trip for a long while. yes: all issues of abusive power and control will have pitta thrashing about at the core. stop the wind first, i think, and the kutki will take. also — i’ve never met the man, so i could never diagnose. when in doubt, says caraka: basti.
you clearly have imported the vedantic perspective into ayurveda, as have most western or westernizing proponents (the excellent Drs. Lad and Frawley). i.e., claims such as “We’re unlimited beings in limited form.” my take on ayurveda is more perceptual and granular: i start not from metaphysics, but from what is actually seen and felt. i start not with the presumption of a soul/atman, but with the sensation of prana in myself and the client. supplementary ideas are tricky to me. the assertion of “unlimitation” for example, is itself vata provoking, in my view. (as well as incoherent with earlier understandings karma — 3 sources, etc.) relationship is built on the limitations of intersubjectivity and existential angst (utter freedom with utter responsibility). in my view, it is narrow to say “There is no difference in the philosophical systems” of Ayurveda and Anusara: this would imply that Ayurveda is a philosophy. a phenomenology perhaps, yes.
you’re right that you and all good AY teachers are probably not over-back-bending, and have good connection to apana. but let’s be honest that the meme of the thoracic arch is central to the whole vibe. it’s right there in the logo. and all of the lower-down AY teachers i know where i live are always offering backbending workshops… it’s their thing, and everyone knows it. and you’re skipping my main point, by the way: when frontal exposure is the central exhilarating movement, the back-body, the unconscious, the shadow, can be further obscured. and, possibly, an inappropriate sacrificial attitude is provoked on the psychic level.
i didn’t mean a superior tone, and I’m sorry if that’s what came off. the blog format wouldn’t allow the digression it would take to explain my fuller view: that many people leave paths after a process of saturation and disillusionment. in an upcoming post i’ll speak more in depth about the bits of truthiness that i think the resignees are exporting, as they should. my remark was intended to reflect stories like your own, actually: you studied for just long enough to get what you needed, and then walked away from what you didn’t. i meant to praise this, not imply a lack of loyalty. but implying a lack of loyalty will really get under a secondary kapha skin. 🙂
you scooped me on the lam. i should have thrown that in. good point.
i can explain my intrinsic empathy (and its limits) through my biology alone. some would call it abhinevesa. shri seems unnecessarily complex to me in theory but it if works for you in the heart: great. again, i’m more concerned with the tinny quality of marketing that can attach itself to a simplified view.
finally: if you read my first post, you’ll see more clearly that my primary critique of the AY kula is structural. the public part of it is transglobal, internet-dispersed, airplane-bound, and brief. i totally agree that it takes a community to share yoga. of course: i’ve dedicated much of my professional life to this ideal. what i’m saying is that community prolly happens more readily on the less-flashy scale of the local church hall. i’d venture that dr. Lad’s setup could be similar to AY in this regard, but subtler. the gurukula doesn’t fly away from the student’s home. we can learn some important things about ourselves in india, but the main learning happens in the old neighbourhood. i get itchy when i see tourism begin to elevate itself above the slow work of daily life.
thank you again for this dialogue. best, m.
Joy OnyschakPosted at 13:56h, 05 March
well put – thanks for your offering Cate.
JessicaPosted at 13:59h, 05 March
And I eventually found you as my primary teacher. How lucky I am. A big bow.
Sarah G.Posted at 20:21h, 06 March
M.R. ‘s annlysis consistantly rambles like vata on overload. I have trouble following, his comments are all over the map. I much prefer Cate’s tone as thoughtful, organized, and grounded in what’s real.
I think M.R. forgot one major tenet (he’s in good company, everyone who thinks they are someone in the yoga world does the same thing): “Don’t talk about what you don’t know about.” Bottom line. If you don’t know directly about something maybe refrain from forming opinions, theories, hypothesis, or advice. Maybe just ask questions instead and see what answers come.
Cate StillmanPosted at 20:35h, 06 March
Long time -glad to connect again.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I sense what we can do is inform, from the inside out, what the deeper issues actually are, and what is trying to evolve through all of this.
matthew remskiPosted at 22:21h, 06 March
dear sarah — thank you for your feedback. were there specific points of content that you found fault with, either in my original article, or in my response to cate?
tone is a tricky matter of taste, and i’m sure i’ll keep working it out over time, and we can easily agree to disagree. but if you find errors of content, as cate has, i’d love to hear your thoughts.
jeanPosted at 01:34h, 07 March
“if you read my first post, you’ll see more clearly that my primary critique of the AY kula is structural. the public part of it is transglobal, internet-dispersed, airplane-bound, and brief. i totally agree that it takes a community to share yoga. of course: i’ve dedicated much of my professional life to this ideal. what i’m saying is that community prolly happens more readily on the less-flashy scale of the local church hall”
I stumbled upon both of your blogs by accident, but wanted to comment and say that I think the above quote sums up the main issue quite well. Matt’s critique IMO gets at the most important point in this whole situation(in quite a wordy way albeit!). Technicalities and abstract Ayurvedic theoretical diagnosis of JF or of the use and interpretation of his work seems some what trivial in the face of what has actually happened to real human beings here. Like many other institutions and modes of interaction and being, these types of hyper-capitalist and consumer driven structures are unsustainable, unhealthy, and ultimately dis-empower and poison our communities. As an outside observer of the Anusara community it seemed quite clear, in my opinion, that there were some big problems and that much like we are learning in other facets of life(the economy, housing market, immigration, environment, medicine,etc) things need to change in a very drastic way if we want to live a life in line with nature and moderation and a life that empowers us rather then centralizes that authority around one person or ideology. And especially if we want to continue as a species…. Our western culture is one that in many ways encourages us to consume, idolize, and ignore what expense our choices and privileges come at. The fact that it has leaked over in to the world of yoga/ayurveda/etc here in the west there for is not surprising, although disappointing for sure. I think we who see our selves as “yogis” trying to live our lives to the best of our abilities and also with compassion for ourselves and others need to take this situation very seriously and deal with it accordingly. Admittedly, when the first details of all this started coming out I felt a smug sense of superiority, a feeling of knowing that i had correctly side stepped the mess and patted myself for thinking i possess a deep sense of spiritual discrimination. Later on though came deep sadness. For everyone involved, including John. I saw how this tore apart and continues to tear apart a community. I imagined the grieving people all over must be going through, the hurt of being misled and lied to. The economic hurt teachers and studios would surely be facing and the money people had spent trying to be a a part of this organization. As Matt referred to in his blog, I also had a friend who had just put a DVD and check in the mail the very same day this controversy was leaked. I also imagined the shame and guilt of those who enabled and protected JF’s behavior whether consciously or out of fear or ostracism. I also reflected on times in my life I have been in similar scenarios and how hard that can be to truly face your fears when you see what that might mean for you. And of course the hurt this has done to yoga community as a whole. And yes, somewhere inside there, JF’s hurt. Only time will tell at this point if he will face up to this and TRULY step down and dissolve Anusara yoga as it is. So far he seems unable or unwilling to do that, I can’t help but think of Colonel Gaddafi(of course JF is not literally on level with Gaddfi) in his last weeks still unable to see that his legitimacy as a leader was gone. Gaddafi’s attempts to negotiate/apologize/rearrange the government’s structure, his refusal to step down at the people’s request, and his inability to see clearly that the war was not only unwinnable but actually over, only brought further turmoil and suffering to an already bad situation. JF deserves forgiveness for sure, and so do those deeply involved in perpetrating and enabling the whole situation. So do all of us for our own misdeeds and implicity in actions that hurt others whether it’s just being a jerk sometimes or more. But acknowledgment and accountability both internally and externally has to be a fundamental part of that process for true healing to occur. Lastly, in my opinion, you can’t separate the man from the method. To borrow a quote from Howard Zinn- “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”. This organization shouldn’t be fixed even if it were possible, which I don’t believe it is. The structure itself is fundamentally flawed and as those flaws became more prominent it fell apart and has since left a large stain on our community. Some say that anusara strictly as a specific set and method of asana practice could still remain with out JF, but what is it then with out the context it was presented in? Just what it always was before the commercialization, new-new age speak, branding, and celebrity making. Hatha yoga.
I sincerely hope healing comes to all involved. Thanks for the conversation.
Cate StillmanPosted at 03:52h, 07 March
Thanks for posting.
For what it’s worth, I couldn’t disagree with you more.
In your post I see a black and white mentality… good vs. evil.
The power of Anusara yoga lies in 2 domains:
(1) the method
(2) the worldwide community organized around a standardized curriculum, a common interest, and ethics.
John Friend violated the method and the community in his actions.
If he can extract himself, the method and the community will most likely evolve into an even more shri-filled expression of what yoga can be in our global village.
matthew remskiPosted at 12:45h, 07 March
dear cate —
can you give a concrete example of jean’s black-and-white thinking? I can’t see it. the very length of this rich and considered response evokes a whole colour-pallet of expression. not to mention quoting howard zinn.
if you read carefully, you’ll see that jean specifically speaks to your 2 domains:
— it is very problematic to separate the man from the method (as if the method was not built upon the relationships of those who practice it — i’ll be posting about this today)
— “a worldwide community organized around a standardized curriculum”, etc. is highly resonant with capitalist culture.
we all have to look carefully at these two problems as we move forward.
Pingback:A Natural Yoga Disaster – Churning the Ocean | Charlotte Clews Lawther, Anusara Yoga in Maine and BeyondPosted at 21:06h, 07 March
[…] Grounding Anusara Yoga – a Rebuttal – By Cate Stillman “Kula is a simple teaching of that it takes a community to do yoga. It takes a community to know who we are. It takes a community to see and support our growing edges.” […]
Cate StillmanPosted at 21:25h, 07 March
This doesn’t sound like the “transglobal, internet-dispersed, airplane-bound, and brief” experience of Anusara that Matt Remski is talking about. People on the outside of the method and the kula experience are judging without understanding, from a perspective bound with projections.
Cate StillmanPosted at 21:44h, 07 March
I don’t see the structure itself as fundamentally flawed. What I’m experiencing is organizational, cultural and systems evolution. The Guru/solopreneur model of Anusara is morphing into more of a collective model.
I just disagree about it being problematic to separate the man from the method. Aside from the recent additions of Shiva-Shakti Tantra in John’s teachings, the method is intact and has been taught by teachers worldwide. To me, that is the absolute genius of what is occurring. John be willing to step away from the CEO post holds a curious potential.
That we have a method, a worldwide community organized around a curriculum, a process through moving through the curriculum, and a set of principles. My guess is that from an evolutionary perspective it will be a showcase in how you can extract a method that holds water from a man. Just because we don’t see examples in yoga gurus from the past around this, except maybe Kripalu, doesn’t mean that it won’t occur. We’ve seen countless examples extracting company from a CEO both in “capitalist culture” and in the non-profit section. Watching Anusara potentially move from an entrepreneurial endeavor to a non-profit organization seems textbook in a way.
And, as far as capitalist culture- I’m not sure where to go with this statement. Last time I checked, it’s the dominant way the global economy operates. For yoga to try to step outside of our current economic reality seems rather mystical. If you’re saying true yoga doesn’t exist within a capitalist structure, I’m curious for empirical evidence. My sense is that yoga can help many people within different economic models. Different models will appeal and be secure for people of various levels of development (see Spiral Dynamics/Don Beck’s work).
matthew remskiPosted at 02:08h, 08 March
hi cate —
i am buoyed by your hopefulness and zing. i wish all the best for AY and its spring. but i think the method will begin to change as fast as it crystallized. check out B. Birney’s post today on the evolution of her classes, post-license: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/03/evolution-of-a-formerly-licensed-anusara-teacher/
true: yoga exists wherever people do it. but capitalism is alienating by nature, and unsustainable. we know it and feel it. yoga businesses have inherited it as our economic structure. we can always do better.
i’ve followed up this post with a third in the series today:
Natalie RousseauPosted at 04:40h, 08 March
Thank you Cate.
I sincerely appreciate your point of view and am glad to hear your voice here.
Cate StillmanPosted at 04:42h, 08 March
I responsed to Matthew’s and Bernadettes posts on those blogs.
Here is my response to Matthew:
I’m curious, Matthew..
are you against standardization in general?
I”m sure you know NAMA’s (National Ayurveda Medicine Association) recent work to create standardization in Ayurveda. Is that kind of “certification” also taboo for you?
in response to “…but by actually doing what it failed to do in the first place: support localism and the creative evolution of the Method into methods, of Shringlish into dialogue.”
I guess I see it differently. The only money I paid Anusara was to study with John, like I pay to study with any teacher. The annual fee is about the same as the annual fee I pay to support NAMA. Supporting organizations (for profit and non-profit) is a way to put energy where I find value.
My local yoga studio was started as an Anusara yoga studio. I bought the business with another yoga teacher, and we continued to teach Anusara Yoga there. Studios around the country that teach Anusara paid nothing to Anusara, Inc., aside from the $90 a year teacher’s fee.
Students come from around the the U.S., Canada, and Europe to our studio… knowing that they will receive competent teachings. Standardization can benefit the consumer. In flatland (refer Ken Wilber) the 6 students in a room with a below-average teacher who cares might not be as beneficial as 20 studentes in a room with an above-average teacher who cares.
The Anusara teaching manual and Immersion manuals are inexpensive. It’s not exclusive by price. Certification may be exclusive by the numbers of hours needed. My yoga studio, as well as most I know about, offer worktrade. Worktade mimics the old guru/disciple relationship of helping out in exchange for teachings.
There is more to say… but I prefer to get back to my day job as a teacher of more than 90 students who I care deeply about.
matthew remskiPosted at 11:16h, 08 March
I’m not against standardization or certification at all. If you read my somewhat-cheeky dissolution points more closely, you’ll see that I actually suggest the AY standardization process be given over freely to Yoga Alliance, to help improve standards across the board.
As I’ve tried to make clear: I’m against branding. I.e., the proprietary, top-down and over-monetized collection of canonized principles for sale. Branding is both explicitly and implicitly exclusive. It also tends to force the brander believe and communicate to others that his crap smells like roses.
I might also define branding as “owned” standardization, whereas truly beneficial standardization goes through a long difficult democratic process of peer review — which is what happened with NAMA, and every other alt-health discipline in the last 20 years. True standardization is really hard to accomplish, because there no obvious money in it for anyone at the top.
I’m afraid you reveal a huge blind spot in claiming that AY is/was not exclusive by price. First of all: most of yoga generally is. Secondly, I can personally name a dozen teachers who dropped out of the AY cert process because of cost alone. Air travel and accommodation to be with the now-fallen leader is absolutely a class-bound enterprise. Not recognizing this renders many pressures and inequities of our income-stratified society even more invisible.
Finally, this argument is unclear to me: “Students come from around the the U.S., Canada, and Europe to our studio… knowing that they will receive competent teachings. Standardization can benefit the consumer. In flatland (refer Ken Wilber) the 6 students in a room with a below-average teacher who cares might not be as beneficial as 20 studentes in a room with an above-average teacher who cares.”
Standardization may indeed benefit the consumer (if “consumer” is how you want to identify your students), but branding and the advertising power of branding is what draws a world audience to your door: nobody can assess competency through marketing copy. And in that attraction, money and those resources begin to centralize and swell. Great. But so can disrespect for “lesser” paths. And so can the messiah complex. And other attitudes that further subdivide yoga culture.
As in: how did the teacher with 6 students suddenly become below-average? Because they didn’t have the gumption or resources to make a bigger splash? Because they have less business savvy? Sounds a little like Ayn Rand to me.
Anyway, I look forward to visiting your studio one day. It sounds like you are managing the late-capital yoga-dance with more grace than most.
best regards, m.
jeanPosted at 02:00h, 09 March
Fair enough Cate, I guess it’s best at this point to leave it at a disagreement. I will continue to think about what you wrote and your ideas of what could possibly evolve in a post-JF Anusara structure. The idea of a family going through a divorce and the way a family breaks up and new internal relationship structures are formed keeps coming to mind when I try and imagine what might be possible… I agree with your point that being outside the “kula” has a set of limitations on my perceptions, and not being or even knowing you I have no way of knowing what is best for you ultimately anyway. There is of course the other side of those same limitations when you are immersed within a kula and the potential to project your own needs/wants on to a situation rather than finding a fuller objectivity. Only time will tell how this will evolve, we are all shrouded in maya I suppose… While I still feel there are better ways to reintegrate back in to the larger yoga community, I do wish luck to you and all the other current/former Anusara teachers and students in their journey of navigating their paths through these choppy waves and finding calmer waters again. Lastly, thanks Matt for talking about class issues in the yoga/ayurveda world! A subject I think very much about but have a hard time finding much conversation around. Take care.
Cate StillmanPosted at 03:00h, 09 March
Yes- it’s hard to see other “yogis” hold media-informed opinions about our community of teachers and what should happen. I sense a lot of sensationalism in people’s blogging on the matter, a lot of superiority and judgement.
I’m looking for the evolutionary edge of what is possible within structures of teaching. I have no issues with yoga being taught within the current capitalism structure. I’m also open to it evolving in financial structures as well.
As far as healing our community – I don’t need healing, and I sense the community doesn’t need healing. We have the opportunity to lead the way in a teacher-based method wit a worldwide curriculum and worldwide impact. This is a big, wonderful, deal.
Honey F.Posted at 14:57h, 09 March
I saw your response to the Elephant Journal article about John’s dosha issues. I was just about to get my Inspired Certification when this whole thing blew up. I have pushed the pause button on the certification, but reading your words not only helped me to sort out my own understanding, but I learned a whole heckuva lot about ayurveda between the two of you responding back and forth. What a great way to debate. It does seem like we are in new territory, letting go of old paradigms that don’t work with what we are up to. And YES, it is time for a cleanse!!
I have found myself continuing to go deeper into what is “so” for me in my practice, and encouraging my students to do so too.
Thanks for your Wisdom and rational voice amidst the seeming chaos.
Cate StillmanPosted at 15:16h, 09 March
I’d love to hear more about what got sorted out for you and where you sit now with it all.
We are in interesting times… and I sense if we tap into that without fear or attachment, there is a lot of shakti at play.
I agree – the tide in general is pushing yoga teachers of all traditions to get clear about what we are practicing and what we are teaching. We are reflecting on our integrity, our morality, and our methodology.
This can only hold wonderful repercussions, if we’re truly open to what is able to evolve through us as part of the great yoga lineage.
Honey F.Posted at 20:10h, 10 March
I think what has shifted for me is my perception of the “gloom and doom” of it all. I have been taking it all too seriously, like a devastation instead of seeing the potential. I can often have a jittery vata mind. I can see how being “devastated” occurs out of my attachment to the certification. The truth is, I teach better and probably more true to the style when I am unattached to whether I am doing it right or worthy of certification.
I like what you said about kula. For myself, I have declared 2012 the year of community and have been working to strengthen and contribute to my communities more this year. I think we have a real challenge ahead of us to shift the way we relate to community and ourselves within community. Whenever a leader is toppled, we often look for another leader to emerge within the community that toppled the old leader, and as we have witnessed time and again lately in many parts of the world that is just not happening. I think there is untapped wisdom around how to ground a community in its values without one person becoming too bossy and the others giving up control.
I also agree with you on the UPAs. I have always had the experience of them as balancing by applying opposites.
Probably the biggest shift for me now is looking at all of it from the perspective of workability…deeply contemplating with scrutiny what works for me and what does not, both in my practice and in my teaching. It’s not that I was not already doing that, but each time I engage with the practice, there is a deeper level to contemplate.
I have been listening over and over to that call between Bruce Lipton and Terry Patton you posted last fall in the cleanse. The part about systems breaking down in order to evolve has been really at play, it seems.
What Matthew Remski said about binkies and velvety pillows, snuggles, child’s poses and oil enemas…all that stuff really sounds good for my own imbalance around this current situation, even if the tone of it was flip.
charliePosted at 11:53h, 25 March
Matthew and Jean thankyou so much for your wisdom and profound words
Cate StillmanPosted at 12:41h, 25 March
awe, thank you.