“Best class ever!” A yogi friend enjoyed a recent class so much she has been in touch with the teacher meantime to urge him to run every class like that.
I agreed. “It was magic. Everything about my practice felt magic. That is surely Yoga”
Only of course it turned out we were talking about different classes! For her it was a super-loud rocking class, unashamedly high-spirited and fun. For me it was an intensely-focused class with the teacher being strict on breath control, offering a really disciplined practice.
The one left me a bit cold — just not my kind of music, so it didn’t get to me at all; the other allowed me to surrender into the practice in a way I always long to. It went right to my heart and to my soul, opened up caverns inside me.
Today after class another student asked me about yoga books, resources, or how to learn more about particular āsanas. I mentioned my favourite book — but with caveats. It only kind of fitted the bill, and I don’t know anything about her yoga. I probably should have just told her to ask the teacher. That’s his job, after all. Instead I offered what speaks to my heart, wondering what she was really looking for herself. And indeed wondering if looking beyond what she has already is what she actually needs? But that’s a different question…
I realise from both these conversations that yoga is many things and manifests differently to different people, or at different times.
I guess there’s some core essence to it, something that makes yoga Yoga. But I can’t pin it down yet. How to define what seems undefinable?
I have a lot to learn.