Yoga, A Living Tradition

 

Understanding yoga as a living tradition can be perplexing and enthralling - being able to plug into a tradition to keep it thriving.

What does yoga as a living tradition mean?  

A living tradition means that time-tested tools, techniques and practices have been shared through the millennia. You can plug into, engage in and be a part of these today, in these modern times. 

Many of you feel adrift, disconnected and even alienated in this shrinking global community with all its gadgets that bring all the world's information to our fingertips. And yet we are feeling disconnected. You can draw on the living tradition of yoga to address some of your needs.  

The market does step in and create services and products to help us feel purposeful and meaningful, some of which are actually yoga. But when yoga becomes something you consume or purchase to meet an immediate urge or desire, it is disconnected from its meanings, its purpose, the tradition.

How can you plug into yoga and keep it connected to its roots and make it a part of your life? How can you benefit from yoga without being a consumer of yoga? 

Four Things to Connect to the Living Tradition

  1. Inquiry - being a seeker, wanting to know more, wanting to understand the tradition that goes back thousands of years. Exploring those gaps between what you see in the modern yoga world with what's been taught for thousands of years. 

  2. Study - you will have to learn. Attend lectures, workshops, take courses, buy books and study. Seek guidance on what texts to read and which versions of those texts. You can study this vast terrain of yoga for a lifetime and still be learning. 

  3. Self-study - svadyaya - often taught as the study of the scriptures of the tradition, but can also be self-study. During practice what is going on physically, energetically, mentally? How is your life shifting, your energy levels, your emotions, the subtle levels? Are you being kinder to yourself and others? How are you responding to humanity? 

  4. Teachers - find a teacher who inspires you; who is teaching yoga in a manner that you think yoga is. There are lots of teachers teaching some very cool stuff. But find teachers who embody the teachings and share them in a way that makes to you. 

  5. Community - plugging into like-minded folks, those on a similar journey who need no explanation of your journey. These are folks who will uplift you, affirm you, challenge you at times and who will love you unconditionally. Sangha, a community, building a sense of belonging is part of the living tradition - in doing this work. You are not alone.

There is Science in the Living Tradition of Yoga

There is a systematic approach to the living tradition of yoga. There is a science and rigour to it. The tools, techniques and practices were tested by the sages many many years ago. You get to benefit from this work today. You also get to do the research and benefit from it too through your practice. 

Yoga theory without practice is intellectual fodder.  Yoga practice without theory is simply exercise. We need to marry the theory with practice to really understand yoga in a fulsome way. The proof of the practice is in the doing. Yoga is necessarily experiential. 

Embrace the idea of yoga as a living tradition that you are a part of. Reach out to me if you need guidance. 

Namaste!

 

 

 

 

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