Updated: Oct 5
We are all unique!
The next generation of yoga will not be a "one size fits all" system where everyone in the classroom is asked to do the same pose in the same way.
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There has been a rise in excitement and enthusiasm over the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of practicing yoga & meditation. Yoga studios have tripled in our local communities, and Namaste has become a household word. Practitioners are reaping the benefits of healthier bodies, calmer minds, and more peaceful and joyful expressions in daily life.
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However, as yoga would teach us, there is a negative for every positive. More people have reported experiencing injuries during yoga classes. This is possibly due to inexperienced teachers or simply because the practitioner pushed themself too hard to get into that picture-perfect yoga pose.
Many people believe a yoga practice is not meant for them because they are only exposed to the newer Western style of yoga based on flexibility and strength and find they cannot physically perform the poses. This is a disservice because they completely miss receiving the amazing benefits of yoga available to every-body. So, where does that leave yoga?
For every trend, there is a beginning, middle, and end. Is yoga approaching the end of its tenure? From the perspective of this experienced practitioner and teacher,
We have only just begun exploring what yoga really is!
We have viewed yoga through the lenses of our Western culture and thus adapted the practice to fit that vision.
The practice of Asana (yoga postures), a fundamental aspect of Western yoga, is widely misunderstood and misinterpreted. So, the question remains: where is yoga headed if it will survive in the West? To answer that, we must go back to the beginning. We must return to yoga's roots in the East.
The beautiful aspect of Eastern-based yoga practices is their accessibility to any-body. This means the inflexible and fragile can join the other 37 million Americans who practice yoga today to reclaim their health, vitality, and even freedom. The core difference between Eastern and Western yogic philosophies is that the Eastern style is an ancient, time-tested science, and the Western is a modern take on only a small portion of the wisdom and tools that emerged from Eastern yoga.
To fly, a bird needs both wings working together. A yoga practice based just on the physical body may create amazing yoga butt but will not take the practitioner to the heights for which yoga was designed. That is, recognizing yourself as whole!
The next generation of yoga in the West will not be a “one size fits all” system where everyone in the classroom is asked to do the same pose in the same way.
We are all unique!
We have unique bodies, unique life stories, and unique personalities. Shouldn't our yoga practice reflect that and be designed in such a way as to work within our unique nature? Don't our yoga students deserve a practice designed just for them and their distinct needs as individuals seeking more balance and fulfillment in life? The answer, of course, is yes! And the good news is those types of yoga practices do exist.
There are Eastern-based systems of yoga emerging in the U.S. and across the globe that have matured from the one-size-fits-all model to an individualized, personalized practice. This way of practicing yoga meets the practitioner exactly where they are physically, mentally, and emotionally. That means a more natural yoga investigation, which demands a higher skill set from those teaching the class.
These practices have two things in common: an emphasis on meditation and feeling and moving with one's innate energetic wisdom.
There has been a boom in media coverage about the new scientific evidence of the benefits of meditation for health and well-being. Eastern yogic philosophy knew this first-hand thousands of years ago and incorporated meditation into the practice of yoga itself.
Science now also states that all things are made of energy. Right now, your heart is beating based on a specialized energetic system in your body. Wouldn't it be fantastic if you could access the same energy that automatically allows your heart to beat, your blood to clot when you have a cut, and your food to digest, and use it in such a way that it allows you to reach higher degrees of physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual healing? Well, you can. Yogis know this secret and incorporate it into the practice.
Modern-day Eastern yogic practices use meditation to enter a calm state of mind, allowing practitioners to access their natural energetic intelligence, which in the yoga world is called Prana. Because the body and mind are connected, this is a simple yet sophisticated way to maintain balanced, healthy bodies while effortlessly stepping outside of fruitless programmed mental/emotional habits and behaviors, allowing new and renewed solutions to emerge effortlessly. I call this approach to yoga Metergy©. More on Metergy here.
Where physical flexibility ends, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance and peace of mind begin. Western yoga will survive the ebb from the first wave of popularity if it matures and evolves by returning to its roots in the East. A yoga practitioner does not need to travel to India to receive the maximum benefits from the practice. They only need to be courageous enough to travel through the darkness of personal fears and limitations to the Light present at the core of their being.
Eastern-based yoga practices provide a personalized and individualized passage to the limitless Light of awareness you are. The more you visit this calm and harmonious internal dwelling, the more you will see those qualities materialize in your everyday life.
In Loving Service,
Heather Indu Arena
What does yoga mean to you?
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