In or Out?

The other day I read:

“Don’t know why you are always expecting a good work-out when you come to the class. I am really sorry to disappoint you but you should know that yoga is actually a work-in!!!”

This quote is from Prashant Iyengar, Guruji´s son, who is changing and breaking the concepts about yoga to everyone who comes into the RIMYI institute in Pune.

The quote left me thinking and wondering: What is the most important thing you have learnt trough yoga?

Is it to be able to touch the floor with extended legs? Or maybe you were able to developed arm strength after many chaturangas?

I was reading the notebook I took with me to India and that I filled out during the trip with all the information, recipes, notes, quotes and classes that I heard and saw during those months and I found that it´s just now, in this moment, a year and half later, that I´m starting to understand parts of what I heard those days.

Funny, isn´t it?

Notebook full of secrets
Notebook full of secrets : )

During these days where everything goes super duper fast (if not instant) it seems that the velocity required to learn something must also be in that speedy rhythm that comes from the outside.

The more you learn, the more you know, the more things you can achieve.

I can make a list of all the different actions required in a good Tadasana / Mountain pose but, as a yoga instructor, am I able to judge which one of my students have a better mind-body-soul balance?

What does that balance means after all?

As my own teachers did with me, they taught me the actions needed to be able to do every asana / posture but I was there, developing my own body awareness.

Today I have realized, again, in a deeper level, how is that body awareness is never just body awareness.

Is not that obvious as it sounds.

Awareness. (Photo taken from High Intelligence Office)
Awareness. (Photo taken from High Intelligence Office)

During the last few weeks I´ve been teaching mainly sporty people: skiers, climbers and runners. They “live of” their bodies in a similar way than me but, at the same time, is a very different approach to it.

At the beginning they really want to have what Prashantji said: a “workout” practice. The second intention, when they have one, is to be more flexible (because we know what happens when you´re just strong: you break yourself).

They are really looking for a specific product containing in the practice: flexibility, longevity, space, strength, sweat, etc.

But what happens is magic: Off course they sometimes get that what they want (flexibility for sure but the truth is that my classes don´t look like a workout at all) but, regardless what the first intention was, they get something more important. I really like to think that they get something that they were searching unconsciously: They find a space where they meet themselves.

At the beginning you don´t understand very much what is happening but you can feel it: Something is changing. Maybe, as me at the beginning, they can say: Oh, that was so good! Or: I feel peaceful, I feel silent, My body is so relaxed!

Maybe, just as myself, in some years they will discover that they now have the key to their own internal treasure.

And now they are the owners of a treasure that goes beyond any physical posture.

Work-IN
Work-IN

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