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Yoga Re-Evolution

A s yoga’s purpose is to free the mind from the waves of distraction, it could be realised that a developing mind may require new approaches.

Yoga is many things to many people; an explosion of interest sees the tradition delivered in many forms. Many think, such re-presentation means the ancient wisdom will become diluted. It is therefore understandable that die-hard students want to preserve the tradition. But, against one of yoga’s fundamental principles (Ahimsa), some will ‘fight’ to be right. I am reminded of a hard-core vegan’s debate, about spiritual principals, at a none vegan dinner table.

Prudent Students

A great teacher knows he or she is always a student. They know the learning never stops, which means yoga is evolutionary. It is important to remember that we are merely custodians of the teaching however we find them.

We must not, attach dogmatic beliefs to something as pliable as yoga for fear of stunting its growth. What if, to freeze yoga in the volts of time was to remove the very life force it requires to evolve? Many modern students feel the need to guild yoga as a Holy Grail which suggests a single path with an end goal. But, are there not as many paths as there are people on the planet? No one system was designed for all.

It is much easier, however, to follow a path that relieves us of our suffering without too much inquiry. If I do as the path says, everything will be OK. To do this suggests that yoga is something set in stone, like a religion with a set of rules. Practices of this calibre are many, perhaps the largest being the Catholic church, which of course was frozen in time but not without its flaws.

So, to avoid losing yoga’s richness, great students call upon a fusion of ancient wisdom, science, and most importantly authenticity. This is done by measuring our own findings and not just what we are told through a lineage of Chinese whispers.

Such an approach breathes new life into yoga and sees through any unnecessary dogma.

Masters of Change

If, as modern students, we are to thrive by embracing the moment, as we are taught, then we must meet the world where it’s at. Sure, the ancient methods provide change gateways but we must not risk being governed by them.
The sages who mastered this craft and logged their findings were ahead of their time for sure. Yet, they never would have accomplished anything without questioning. Yoga is after all a transformational practice. As students we too must question and find our own truths. Why, because doubt fuels discovery. Without asking questions, we cannot become truly masterful.

This, in no way, means we forget our forefathers. Charaka and Patanjali taught us, that to enter yoga (union) we must become humble and fluid. But, most of all transient. They used fables and sacred imagery to slide meaning into our subconscious, to assist mastering the self. Chakra, bandha, nadi and prana highlight the complexity of coming to know the human spirit. These physiological descriptors brought new dimension to our understanding of who we are. To lose such art forms would be a travesty. But, science is not without beauty.  Perhaps, the scholars of old might ‘re- present’ their message in new ways, if they were alive today. Welcome science.

Molecules in Motion

To only look back is to lose the magic of discovery which fuels all masters. Thanks to such revolutionary findings we now know there is sacred geometry all around us. View water and plant life under a microscope and you will see the beauty of science.

Human beings have boundless capacity to learn share and grow, we do this through interaction and questioning. This is how we evolved. Yoga’s evolution is parallel to our own: we watch it unfold but never forget its foundation. By doing this we affirm that consciousness is an evolutionary process. The Sages of the past, although still very much alive in our hearts, paved the way for new realisation. As custodians, we have the good fortune to be able to explore this beautiful unfolding for ourselves.

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/22 Apr, 2014

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