Who’s ready for a COMPLETE practice?
Heads up everyone. It’s been another wild year sharing our practice and life through interesting times and we’re about to get a whole new shiny year to play with. Excited for the next adventure?
Great, because those of you that came along for the ride in 2021 know the grass doesn’t get to grow much around here. Nope, it’s never long before change flaps its creative wings (like it or not) and moves us ever more in the direction of dharma, purpose – our reason for being and our greatness – which is where the yoga path is taking us ALL for those of YOU that still need to buckle up and take a seat!
So with that, we have some news to share and this is going to be one of my biggest challenges yet as founder of this studio and as a teacher of the tradition of yoga.
So without any more fluff here’s what’s happening.
From 1 Jan 2022 our teachings at Yoga Local will be complete, traditional Hatha/Tantra Hatha Yoga and it will be the ONLY thing we teach and practice here.
This is not a New Year gimmick and it’s certainly not about being more commercial as a business. But here is what it is for me.
It’s about becoming.
- Becoming real yogis
- Becoming all of who we are
- Becoming all we can be
Because Yoga is a time-tested science that leans us all into our intrinsic power and greatness.
Sounds a bold thing to say right?
But it’s a truth that is getting wildly overlooked in many, many modern yoga classes. And as a result, Yoga is being mis-sold in some cases.
And now it stops – at this studio at least.
I’ve completed some pretty intense yoga training this year and it’s brought me right back home to where I need to be and what I’m here to do.
Let me explain.
The Yoga tradition is clear that the foundation for both spiritual and human success, health and happiness is a calm and stable mind.
These days, (well, just take a look around) most modern posture and performance-oriented yoga practices are far from creating anything like calmness and stability.
You’ve a right to be confused as to why. I’ve been in that place too!
Not anymore. Things are so much clearer as my perception has shifted, awareness up levelled, and the right teachings appeared at the appropriate time.
Here’s the biggie.
Because the dynamic and often over-heating nature of what has become accepted modern, western yoga (and what a lot of us are experiencing or seeing in most studios) takes our minds AWAY from stillness, the ultimate goal of YOGA (meditation and connection to our true GREAT self), is pretty much impossible.
Shit… that’s a heavy truth bomb.
A lot of yoga classes are missing the point. Cripes!
Now soul connection and achieving greatness through meditation may sound a bit ‘out there’ as goals. And yes, it’s not as widely sellable or commercial as promising Yoga is all about a great body, core strength, touching your toes or getting into a headstand someday.
But we’re chasing the wrong thing if we’re not eyeing the prize of a calm, stable mind – above getting our legs above our heads! Which may happen as we practice by the way – but let’s be clear – really, it’s not the be all and end all and thank the bleep for that!
Patanjali, the sage who wrote the Yoga Sutra between 200 and 400 CE clearly states a calm mind and stable body is THE goal of Yoga.
Yoga IS the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind space. That’s it!
Asana – the postures that we can use to experience Yoga, that are now overly-emphasised on every yoga teacher’s Instagram everywhere, are mentioned just 4 times in the entire Yoga Sutra text!
And one of those times it’s just in a list.
That’s just four times in 195 sutra teaching. But how much of that has become what we see taught in class. 90 per cent, 99 per cent, 99.9 per cent?
The real Yogis promised more! There is more. Way way more than what were mostly exposed to these days – which is often randomly sequenced postures and mindless, going-through-the motions vinyasa.
If this is what we’re doing at best we’re in an Asana class and we’re strengthening and purifying our body. But don’t call it Yoga.
If we do that, we are part of the problem of mis-selling and undervaluing the tradition and the practice.
To truly evolve and grow, to become all we can be, means we must use Yoga to its fullest capacity and include ALL it’s 8 limbs.
This kind of COMPLETE approach to practice is called Sarvanga Sadhana.
It includes Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Visualization, Concentration, Mantra, Kriya, Nidra and more. And how we use it has method, strategy, and science behind it. We learn to use it to do what is best suited in any given set of circumstances. It’s intelligent.
What’s out there and what we are experiencing in most modern classes is called Anga Bangha Sadhana – which maybe involves practicing one limb or practicing things that are comfortable and pleasurable, but not transformative.
If comfort and pleasure are your goals – that’s fine, do that.
But, as I said, let’s honour the tradition – don’t call it Yoga.
What I want to work us all towards (and on some level have always wanted to but didn’t have the solid ground I now feel I have to stand firm in), is a COMPLETE practice which offer us more of these.
- Structural and mental stability – being patient, resilient and feeling good in our own skins.
- Immunity – better able to fight off things physically – but also resilience to negativity of those around us – be gone mental bacteria!
- Emotional Health – being able to bounce back and return to joy and enthusiasm for life. To have more gratitude.
But guys remember, just because a complete practice places less emphasis on Vinyasa and Asana that doesn’t mean we don’t practice Asana or Vinyasa or that practice will be dull, lazy, unchallenging, less vigorous, or less strong.
Trust me, if you know anything about how I teach – you will know this.
But actually, within the context of a Tantric (energy) practice, one of the key benefits of a tranquil mind is that we get to power up, or up level our ability to sense into the subtler aspects of who we are and our realm of existence belonging to the world of Prana – our energy body.
In our Tantra practices it Is Prana that brings our practices to life and allows us to be vibrant, powerful forces of goodness and greatness in the world. This is our true strength.
And boy, do I feel strongly that this is being hugely overlooked in many Yoga classes today.
With a clear mind, stable body, and mastery of our energy, we take life on. We don’t shy away from it, stuff our problems under the rug and hope they don’t come back to bite us on the bum (which they will by the way).
No! We drag that shit out from the dark places and have the strength of mind, character and will to not let them hold us back from living our most vibrant, empowered life – and make every second of this beautifully gifted life count.
The ancient sages have passed this science and knowledge down through the ages as a science and as a time-tested system we can trust in to achieve these goals.
It’s not made up. It’s not been reinvented to be practiced with a goat!
We don’t need to dilute it, repackage it, make it fancier. It’s already the greatest life hack you could ask for. All we must do is practice it as it was meant to be practiced.
- Hatha Yoga – master your mind.
- Tantra Yoga – master your energy.
Who doesn’t want to do that?
It shouldn’t surprise me by now (although I love that it does), but I see how life has landed me exactly in the right place at the right time to obtain access to these traditional, 5,000-year-old, rubber stamped by the ancient sages, lineage based Hatha/Tantra Hatha Yoga practices.
I can’t possibly package up what has been 9 months of teacher training in 2021 and explain everything I have learned here. But… it’s like the curtain has raised, the path has been made clear and now we have the invitation is to walk it.
I have the MAP!
if you’re with me. If you want all the whys. You can trust I will be sharing this map and all I have learned and continue to learn.
After all, this has unknowingly and unknowingly been where all this has been heading and I’m excited for where it will take us all next.
Blog written in April 2017. It was all driving us to stillness even then!