• Ruth Ann Dunkerly

Is that what yoga is?


I was on Facebook recently and posted a reality TV trailer of an upcoming show about......(drum roll please).......yoga! One of my favorite yoga teachers posted it and I thought I would share it. I found it bothersome. I would be lying to you if I said it didn't bother me. Yoga & TV reality what in that doesn't sound right? Just in my opinion for whatever it's worth - there should be no drama!

Just from what I saw, it's the teachers/yogi's are creating the drama. Are we not professionals? Are we not in the business of stress reduction? Where are your ethics in exposing this part of your life publicly? Sure, some teachers can make it look glamorous, some teachers have an ease about them in voice and movement. But when it comes to their personal lives....train wrecks! (this is just my opinion) Why share it with the world? Are you that desperate for one more social media like? One more perfect photo of them getting into a pose that most teachers wouldn't even teach yet alone get into themselves but the shock value of being 'able' to get into that position. Really? Maybe it's some trying to sell their records, some 'making it big' and some even just wanting drama because they like it themselves.

There is a time and place for everything.

For some students this is what they really think goes on inside a yoga class but in all fairness, it might be like that at some studio's. This show can be people's first exposure to yoga. With watching that trailer it wasn't at all fair to hard working studio's who remain drama free.

It was bad enough to see may 'forms' of trendy yoga appear from dog-a (yoga with your dog), acro-yoga, aqua-yoga, barre, pi-lo (I'm not even worried if my spelling is correct on those) and soooo many more. I will say at least people are finding movement. That part I will give to them but don't mix yoga into it. If you want acrobatics, join a circus, if you want ballet take a ballet class, etc. There are health benefits in everything we do. Mixing it will yoga adds the element of more money for people marketing this. + yoga = revenue. Interesting formula.

So I must fess up. I do and teach trendy yoga. I teach chair yoga, yin yoga and I use to teach power yoga (only on occasion I do). The first two are health beneficial and B. K. S. Iyengar brought props into yoga. He is credited in using chairs, blocks, straps, etc. to help people safely get into yoga poses.

Yin works deep within the muscles, tissues, and joints.

The physiological goal of yin is to gently 'stress' the tissues so they can hydrate thereby retaining their health and elasticity. For this to happen the practice has to be one of giving up effort. When we drop physical effort and relax the muscles we work more deeply on the connective tissue.

At some point during a posture you will feel this moment when you truly acquiesce. In this true yin state, healing begins. It's the moment when we stop trying so hard, we stop trying to control every situation, it's the moment when we say it's okay to stay.

Imagine if we defined our life by wanting to stay rather than wanting to get out? That we could drop in, allow and meet whatever is arising, the obstacles, the feelings of being stuck or stagnant, with this leaning into, this staying?

Imagine if we put effort to one side, laid down our desire to control outcomes, and developed a deeper patience for the unfolding of our life?

For us to heal, evolve or grow at some point we might say to our selves it's okay.

It's okay to relax, it's okay to be here, it's okay to stay.

~author unknown

Power yoga is a good stress relief for some challenging the body with various holds and semi challenging poses. I can be argued by many that the forms I mentioned above do the same thing. Teach it and practice it if you want to. If you love it then keep the body moving. Does it really matter? We can all have our own thoughts on what we think yoga is. It's when we remain still and allow the body to not move some problems can arise.

Back to my thoughts......

What actually is yoga? It's a moving meditation.

You follow your breath with the movement, relaxing and releasing the tightness while you move.

There are 8 limbs/principals/ethcis to yoga:

Yama. The first limb, yama, deals with one's ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life.

Niyama, the second limb, has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances.

Asana. ...yoga postures

Pranayama. ...breathing

Pratyahara. ...withdrawal of the senses

Dharana. ...concentration

Dhyana. ...meditation

Samadhi....enlightenment

There is an fellow yogi who wrote a book that I have enjoyed reading. "Do Your Om Thing" by Rebecca Pacheco. I really like how she teaches and I found the book very good. I'm almost done with it. Thank you to the student who gifted me this treasure. In this book she talks about the 8 limbs. There is so much information out there you can google it and plenty will come up for more detailed information or email me.

I try to live what I teach.

Do I fail at times? I do.

Sometimes flat on my face but I learn each time and try again.

I make choices based on my failings and successes.

I have a lifetime to get this right.

I hope most people won't think yoga is drama within a studio

or

within all yogi's

or

that we promote our ego's.

You have all (or most of you) heard me chant and you know I don't plan a record deal anytime soon.

Namaste

#yogadram #yoga #RuthAnnDunkerly #InhaleYoga #tvreality #sesriously #BKSIyengar #RebeccaPacheco #meditation

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