Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Diversion of The New Age Yoga

by Azmi Samdjaga


Of late I have seen the forms that yoga has taken. Some good some not so acceptable. So the idea here is just my concerns for those who are totally new in yoga. And I would appreciate it if the seniors and the veterans who have found yoga to be beneficial to their social or personal life to share their generous inputs for all to read and weigh and analyze their own interpretation of what Yoga means to them.

1) What has been the main concern in your yoga practice?
My main concern is the time I spent in teaching that has taken away the practice I had. To get back on the routine of practicing daily has been really tough.

2) What are the demands in your view that the students today are looking for?
I believe the clarity of the instructions and the benefits of the postures that are executed in class. These have to come generously from the teacher.

3) How do you measure your progress in a yoga practice?
For me the progress is a long process but the joy comes when I manage to reach to a destination that I never been before.

4) What do you look for when practicing Yoga?
After 12 years of practice, I stopped setting goals. I just go with the flow cos the goal would be set in the practice itself. The best thing is, I always always achieve something in a practice. Find new length, new destination, new joy. I always look forward to EVERY single practice.

5) How long do you think one needs to practice to see a shift or change in oneself?
I believe there are no specified or fixed timing as each individual progress differently. Some people may take a month to feel different in health, some may take longer. So it really depends on individual needs.

6) What are the myths you hear about yoga?
Since I started, I still hear that people think yoga can make you levitate.. and now the biggest myth is Yoga is a religion.

7) How do you convince someone to take up yoga?
I do it by stating the fact that yoga has been used as a therapy, the length of time it has been around and showing how I look at life and the perspective I have towards life.

8) What is more important? Strength OR Flexibility?
To me of course is strength. As strength will lead you to find the flexibility with more precaution and consciousness. It serves as a harness and protection against going deeper into flexibility, which may be detrimental to joints if not controlled.

9) What is your greatest achievement in yoga?
I have built a higher tolerance towards the nature of things and the way they are. To have more patience in dealing with things and to be content with what I have and be happy with who I am.

10) What inspire you?
It used to be watching the gurus practice but now, more than that, is to see the determination of my new students who are so eager to explore yoga and hungry for the experience that I have to share with them.

11) What is yoga to you?
Yoga to me is a lifestyle. A way we want live. A self discovery of who we truly are. A journey to finding out our potential in achieving something great in life. An appreciation of just being ourself and the understanding of our purpose in the universe.

Azmi posted the above in his Facebook Notes and I got his permission to post it here. Everyone is welcome to post their comments and share their thoughts on the above. Thank you.

2 comments:

yoga and wellness said...

Here are my answers:

‎1)What has been the main concern in your yoga practice?
My main concern would be how I sometimes let my ego takeover especially when I want to let the teacher see that I
can do the pose. Trying to be perfect at the risk of injuring myself.

2) What are the demands in your view that the students today are looking for?
I believe students who really want to learn yoga would look for a teacher who can give clear instructions on the execution of the poses and one who listens and know how not push them beyond their limit until they are ready.

3) How do you measure your progress in a yoga practice?
I measure my progress by the little achievements such as being able to hold my breath longer in the pose, twisting deeper, lifting higher... and being able to still my mind and focus on my breathing.

4) What do you look for when practicing Yoga?
I look for ways in which I can integrate the techniques that I learned from my own research which can help me to execute the pose better and safer. I also look forward to the high energy level of a practice where all the practitioners are in sync with their breath.

5) How long do you think one needs to practice to see a shift or change in oneself?
I don’t think there is a specific time frame to see a shift or change in oneself. It depends on the individual as there are many reasons why someone took up yoga in the first place. Someone who has a regular yoga practice will see a shift in oneself when they realize the benefits of yoga to their health and life.

6) What are the myths you hear about yoga?
That you must be very flexible to do the yoga poses in order for you contort your body into the poses and learning yoga can make you deviate from your religion especially with the chanting that you do in the class.

7) How do you convince someone to take up yoga?
My friends started to notice the change in me after I started taking up yoga and they will ask me about it. I will tell them about the health benefits and ask them to go for a trial class.

8) What is more important? Strength OR Flexibility?
Strength. Although flexibility is also important, strength will help to keep your body safe as most people who are flexible just let go in the pose which causes injury to themselves.

9) What is your greatest achievement in yoga?
To let go on matters that are beyond my control and to have compassion for others and knowing that I will always have my practice to fall back on whenever I need solace.

10) What inspire you?
Reading blog posts from fellow yoga practitioners on how yoga has changed their life and sharing their experience. My favourite is Yoga Diary by Sadie Nardini in Yoga Journal as she shares the teachings of yoga through events in her daily life.

11) What is yoga to you?
Yoga to me is a journey of personal transformation as I find my inner self through acceptance and awareness.

Michelle Myhre said...

Great questions, Karin. I love the depth and honesty of the responses too.

#1 My main concern in my yoga practice is to keep the practice nourishing. My body and needs change, and I have to let go in order to move forward.

#2 People want to be healthy and feel good. They are looking for practices that help them shine from the inside out.

#3 Progress... Coming back every day.

There is so much to practice, the focus changes & getting better at certain aspects means losing touch with others. Coming back to postures and sequences that were once easy and are now challenging, staying with them until they are easy again, that feels really good.

#4 When practicing yoga I am always looking for the resistance, the tight place, and finding new ways to work with that.

#5 A sincere student will see discernible change they can measure in three classes.

#6 Yoga myths? That yoga is peaceful and sweet. It can be, for sure, but the forms of yoga I practice (including Yin!) take me to my edge, to the place where I must focus my breath and mind in order to make it through. It's such a high.

#7 If people are attracted to yoga, I invite them to class. Often people want to go but are a little bit shy. Your first time can feel intimidating. Everything is easier with a friend, so I'll invite someone to come with me to take a class, or invite them to attend my class.

#8 Strength or flexibility?

There is another aspect to the practice, which is balance. The balancing postures too are essential, and teach us everything about staying grounded, centered, in the midst of change!

Maybe we need more strength with all the changes the world is going through, so that is what yoga is giving us? Strength allows us to take the practice to a new place, to lift up and fly. To hang upside down.

Sadly, the stronger I get, the less flexible I am. It's a dance.

#9 Practicing every day. I don't always make it, sometimes I need to rest or I get a little lazy, but because I teach yoga, I am close to the practice. My whole life is better when I'm on my mat every day.

#10 The students inspire me. They light up my world. I call them my "yoga children."

#11 Yoga is... more than physical. It's a way to play with energy, it's psychotherapy, it's a quiet mind, it's my passion, my work. Yoga is the Yama & Niyama. Yoga is all 8 limbs. It's my foundation.