Yoga is a Private Affair. ~ Shy Sayar

Via on Sep 14, 2011

Yoga does not look like anything in particular. It does not sound like an ujjai inhalation or a beautiful chant. Yoga is a state, perhaps best described as fluid, grounded connectedness, and I believe it is sometimes more likely to arise from running or climbing or sailing than by what most of us call “yoga”; let alone by giving birth or climbing a mountain.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the meaning and usage and proper application of asana. I think of it most like a dance – every bit as exacting of mind and body and attention as training for the dance stages of the world, except that the only proper audience is yourself (or Your Self, or God. Probably different words for the same thing).

Some teachers tell us to push ourselves, and they are right. Others tell us to be gentle, and they are also right. But yoga is a private affair; albeit a community anchor, bringing us together in dark and isolating times, the state of yoga is an inner secret, lost at first mention like a bubble hitting the ground, lost at first reflection like smoke in the wind.

Be wise as thou art cool; do not tempt yourself with too much beauty. The deepest breath is sometimes the smallest and thinnest and most quiet. Go within. And take care.

About Shy Sayar

Shy Sayar is a teacher and therapist with over 5000 hours of experience bringing yoga to students of all levels, treating patients, and training yoga teachers around the globe. Shy believes in Teaching People – Not Poses, since the practices of yoga are infinitely adaptable to fit the practitioner’s stages of development, and there is no need to push the body into arbitrary shapes. Instead, his Tantravaya yoga method integrates the classical Eight Limbs of Yoga, equally cultivating the body, breath and mind to bring each practitioner to optimal, holistic health. While the ultimate aim of yoga is to reveal the interconnectedness of all beings as the expression of one eternal life, Shy’s teaching refrains from overstating esoterics and focuses instead on bringing about this awakened consciousness by emphasizing the ease of the breath, the integrity of the musculature at work, and the serenity of the mind. Shy is the founder and owner of Yoga One Studios in Northern California. He has offered coursework on education and pedagogy, as well as yoga philosophy and classical Indian literature at the University of California, Berkeley. In his yoga teaching, Shy integrates his experience in higher education with skillful attention to different learning styles, making even the most complex teachings approachable to every student. His unique Tantravaya Yoga Therapy method has shown remarkable results in posture correction, pain relief and improved balance, as well as healing emotional trauma and addressing the roots of psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Himself an avid athlete, Shy works with both elite and amateur athletes – including equestrians, runners, climbers, et al. – in order to maximize performance while preventing injury, as well as expediting recovery from injury. He is internationally recognized for offering the highest quality Yoga Teacher Trainings around the world, with exceptional emphasis on the sciences of anatomy and physiology, classical and contemporary theory and philosophy, and the most extensive practical training. He also specializes in teaching anatomy, physiology, diagnostics and therapeutics in teacher training programs worldwide.

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4 Responses to “Yoga is a Private Affair. ~ Shy Sayar”

  1. Hi, Shy. I love this piece. Each phrase deserves its own savoring, and so it came across to me like a poem–like this in my head as I read:

    Yoga does not look
    like anything in particular.
    It does not sound
    like an ujjai inhalation
    or a beautiful chant.

    Yoga is a state,
    perhaps best described as fluid,
    grounded connectedness,
    and I believe
    it is sometimes more likely to arise
    from running or climbing or sailing
    than by what most of us call “yoga”;
    let alone by giving birth
    or climbing a mountain.

    There seems to be a lot of confusion
    about the meaning and usage and
    proper application of asana.

    I think of it most like a dance –
    every bit as exacting of mind
    and body and attention
    as training for the dance stages of the world,
    except that the only proper audience
    is yourself
    (or Your Self,
    or God.
    Probably different words
    for the same thing).

    Some teachers tell us to push ourselves,
    and they are right.
    Others tell us to be gentle,
    and they are also right.

    But yoga is a private affair;
    albeit a community anchor,
    bringing us together
    in dark and isolating times,
    the state of yoga is an inner secret,
    lost at first mention
    like a bubble hitting the ground,
    lost at first reflection
    like smoke in the wind.

    Be wise as thou art cool;
    do not tempt yourself
    with too much beauty.

    The deepest breath
    is sometimes the smallest
    and thinnest
    and most quiet.

    Go within.
    And take care.

  2. Valerie says:

    Lovely

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