Yoga with No Name

Yoga, like religion, has been around a very long time. The two are not linked; therefore, do not assume a connection. This is a comparison of two practices with deep roots in the history of mankind. A tree is the perfect image to compare them to. Both have a beginning somewhere; however, along the way, branches have extended in numerous directions. The common invisible thread shared is that all branches reach for the Ultimate Source that nourishes them. Each branch names itself and declares what makes it different and possibly better than the branch right next to it. Thus, the emergence of conflict within a united entity appears.

In the yoga "tree", a lot of different styles of practice have and continue to emerge. Each yoga branch has a slightly or significant difference from the others; however, each is still a practice. The beauty of the tree is that it gives choices for the "leaves" (individuals) to grow from. In the relatively short time that I have practiced yoga, I am amazed at how rapidly different types, or "branches" of yoga that have emerged. So many choices...and choices are good. However, I also feel it is somewhat limiting to pick a "branch" and disregard the others.

Personally, I am not one who likes labels, or to be "pigeon-holed" in a certain place. Regarding religion, when asked what I am...I answer, spiritual. If I had to choose one "rule" to live by from a religious perspective, it would simply be "the golden rule". That one "rule" pretty much covers it all. The world would a lot different if everyone integrated living by that one rule alone. All the other commandments, laws, and whatever other name that is applicable coincide with this rule. Unfortunately, other dynamics imposed by the ego, belief that one way is the only way and fear of consequences cause that one rule to remain often in the shade.

As I have learned, practiced and taught yoga, I have been blessed to experience different styles. What has evolved in my approach is identical to my mindset of religion. When asked, "what type of yoga do you practice?", I simply state it is a fusion of many. Being certified by the Yoga Alliance, I have to declare what style I teach. So, I define it as Hatha for there is no box to check that states: Yoga with No Name.

I find that fusion keeps the doors open to the sixth sense of intuition. The energy of the class or student varies from day to day. To stay in one mode of practice could cheat them of a revelation that might have emerged if they weren't taught from a flexible mindset. As most know, a yoga practice goes beyond the physical. It becomes a lifestyle. I find the "golden rule" very applicable to my approach as a teacher.

It is not my intention to demote, deflate, or degrade any style of yoga; nor, any branch of religion, for that matter. Instead, I think it is important to connect with what speaks to your heart. We are individuals, with different backgrounds, needs, and purpose. Yet, we are all interconnected with an innate desire to extend our "branches" out and upward. The key is to remember that you are not the only branch or the best branch. What works for one may not work for another and that is perfectly fine. It is not a negative reflection of the branch. It is simply a reflection that it is not what speaks to a certain "leaf's" heart.

There is no right or wrong way to practice (excluding moves that are dangerous for your body). As long as you're breathing, you can practice yoga and you can pray to your Higher Power. Set the intention to experience what speaks to you and let others do the same for themselves. If you look very closely at a tree, you notice the beauty of each leaf. Step back and you see the beauty of a branch. Step back even further and you see the beauty of the entire Tree. You can't isolate its beauty to one particular branch...but, rather you can only see it in its collective entirety.

Remember that when you try different teachers, yoga styles, or whatever else comes your way, it is an experience. It may or may not speak to you; but, know that it speaks to someone else. There is power in choices, beauty in change and growth in experience. There might be a name for what I just listed; but, I like to keep it simple and will call it life.


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