TATIANA BURSTEIN YOGA
YOGA… ?

 

 

Even though this word refers to ancient mysterious wisdoms, from sophisticated knowledge systems to spiritual or religious practices, Yoga has integrated our modern societies.

Yoga, (or should I write « Yogas« ) has grown, changed through time and History and travelled before it came to the West.

Since then, we have adapted it and we keep reshaping it again and again… But it seems like we don’t really know how to own it and I wonder: Do we need to own it? Does it belong to anyone? Could it be at the same time traditional and contemporary? Home and travel? Indian and western?

I believe so.

One of the most famous philosophical system in India, Advaita Vedanta, is based on the principle of « non-duality ». The only reality is the Absolute: everything is one. Unity transcends multiplicity (which is considered to be an illusion) and refers to the true essence of all: Pure Oneness.

If we are all One, then Yoga should belong to all…

Definitions and understandings

 

The word Yoga, as most Sanskrit words is polysemous and therefore difficult to define.

From the root ‘Yuj’: to bind, to yoke, to hold…

Yoga is also a state of stillness and rest: Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutra (one of the most ancient reference work in Yoga) defines Yoga as the cessation of the modifications of the mind « Yogaschitta Vritti Nirodhah » (Samadhi pada 2, 1-2).

Describing a state of unified being but also a state of mind to reach, a path leading towards self transformation, Yoga was in the past the way to name practical philosophy teachings that have not much to do with just fitness or workout. Some of the yogic techniques worked on re-educating the mind by mastering its mechanisms.

As time went by and the world changed, teachings and techniques have changed too, so have the reasons why we practice and what we aim for when we practice.

I think that’s alright (even though it’s important to cultivate a critical mind). We have learned from  ancient wisdoms, Indian or Greek philosophy, that nothing is permanent in the manifested universe. Our world is constantly moving, so we better let things come and go.

Beyond opposites and throughout modifications, I feel there is a link…

 

 

Yoga is NOW

 

Here is a little more about my vision…

I experience Yoga as a journey back home, as a path towards involution and liberation that leads with practice and time to self knowledge and love, unveiling our connection to every living being, uncovering the role we are here to play in this life as a tiny but irreplaceable cell that is a part of a huge organism.

The practice (whether the focus is on the postures, breathing exercises and/or meditation techniques, studying reference work…) happens in the here and now, exactly where you are.

 

 

In the Yoga class

 

The asana practice (the postures) allows us to get in touch with ourselves, to feel various bodily layers and to release tension, opening the body’s potential and acknowledging it’s limitations: constantly adapting and letting physical blockages remove themselves.

 

When the breath becomes the master, the one that initiates movement and stays in rythm as the body experiences stillness, it teaches us to back off a little when becoming shallow, if we favour the shape of the posture or because of excessive speed.

 

 

Breathing into each movement, developing balance and alignment in the postures, nourishes the body so it can become stronger and open gently. The energy will flow again where it was once stagnant.

Being present to the breath by feeling it and tasting it, creates a special attention that melts into the now. It’s an opening door to a place where the mind becomes quiet.

Acknowledging our current state without judgment, body and mind, will help to build a nurturing practice in the long term: moving towards not only what we want but uncovering what we truly need.