Teach from the Heart

I often get asked what type of yoga do you teach? Initially, I would try to explain the various details; however, music gave me the best answer...whatever I feel the heart needs to "hear". Music is very personal and speaks beyond the ears of the listener. The same is for a yoga practice. Sometimes you need to restore your body and mind. Or, you've got to get some good energy flowing through you and an active, heat building practice makes it happen. Just like music, you feel drawn to listen to classical one day and reggae the next. The voice and words of a singer can make you move....just like your awareness of inhaling and exhaling in a yoga practice. Don't fight it...flow with it.

I am not one to tie myself to a specific approach in just about anything. A yoga practice changes as your body gets stronger and more flexible. More significantly, the mind follows the body. To lock yourself into one mode limits your edges. In fact, as of now, I am not going to practice or teach to reach new edges. Instead, it will be a journey of gaining sight of new horizons. To be comfortable practicing different styles is a good approach to being flexible. To do what the heart whispers to you builds real strength.

The constant question of "should I play music in yoga or not?" is a personal one. It is not a technical question of anatomy or pose specifics. It is a question that the teacher needs to answer. All of us are different and seek different things. If a student does not like what you teach, they can choose to not to return. You choose to teach what feels right in your heart. Let the rest fall into place without force. Yoga students are more than just students. They are people who feel and need a connection. You might be that person.  Bring and keep the heart the primary source of your practice or teaching. The student will come to the right teacher for them. 

History plays its part in what we do; however, it is history. I cherish the words of Leonard Cohen's song, Anthem..."there is a crack in everything. That is how the light gets in." It is so applicable to anything. With yoga, there is no perfect practice for all. Music may not have been used or only certain sounds in earlier times that were considered appropriate. Save the definition of what is appropriate to yourself. Practice following your intuition. It works when you follow it. For me and my happy students, music and a variety of approaches of practice works. Don't fear what resonates with you.

The practice that moves the body's awareness to the heart of Self is the one I seek to teach. Isaac Newton said it best: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Practice long enough with awareness and heart and you are destined to join company with those giants.
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