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

Yoga Therapist Shy Sayar teaches classical Hatha yoga, underwritten by yoga's ancient scripture as well as by contemporary science. Shy believes in teaching people, not poses - as the practices of yoga are infinitely adaptable to fit the stages of a practitioner's development, and there is no need to push the body into arbitrary shapes. In his teaching, Shy tries to refrain from overstating esoterics, but his methods of training the body aim to recall classical yoga's stated end of freeing the practitioner from the illusion of identification with anything that was born and will die - the experience of immortality and unity with all of being. As such, he emphasizes the ease of the breath, the serenity of the musculature at work, and the peace of the mind over the postures of the body. At his Yoga One studios in Petaluma and Santa Rosa, CA, Shy teaches classes, trains yoga teachers and sees Yoga Therapy patients. He also teaches literature courses at the University of California at Berkeley, including coursework on the classical literature of India. He holds a degree in music and will at times chant for students in savasana. Shy is revered and admired by two wonderful (albeit unreasonable) cats. He loves practicing yoga on his living room carpet while his cats jump on his back to provide added resistance. He also delights in writing bios in the third person. Lastly, he prides himself on being nobody's guru. www.LoveYogaOne.com www.YogaTrainingInThailand.com

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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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