Yoga: Simplicity in practice – Sri K Pattabhi Jois

I mentioned in a previous post, my distaste at adding themes to my yoga classes and/or fluffing them up with discussions about anatomy etc. which intuitively, I feel will not necessarily benefit students. They must learn to feel. To feel their body in different poses, to feel their breath and to feel their focus.

The way I see things, my students are actually, not my students at all but rather, ashtanga students. They are in class for self knowledge therefore, there is little that I can tell them which will tell them about themselves. I cannot possibly know them better than they know themselves. They are their own teacher. My role is to lead them in practice, assist them in finding the rhythm in their breath, tweak their alignment and unveil techniques that will assist in the management of their lives.
Patanjali has already laid out useful tools for living compassionately in the yoga sutras and they way I see it, I am here to reinforce Jois the godfather of ashtanga’s stance which is to start with the physical and reassure that with practice, the rest will unfold. “Yoga is 95% practice. Only 5% theory. Stop talking and practice… asana asana asana. Clean, strengthen body strengthen spirit and mind…” And it has all been laid out for us in the primary series.

Personally, in addition to your meditative yoga practice I would add to this, meditate meditate meditate. Meditation is the key… the common denominator to all paths of enlightenment whether you choose zen, transcendental, buddhist or some other mode of meditation, the actual route to and state of meditation is the same along with the benefits. Watch your breath. Be aware. Eventually, the changes will creep in. You will suddenly notice that you engaged your brain before you opened your mouth in a situation in which maybe, you’d normally immediately go off or that when something starts driving your brain round the bend, you switch your awareness to your body and suddenly those thoughts pale into the background. It will happen!
In these two short videos, Sri K Pattabhi Jois teaches vinyasa and explains ashtanga. Beautifully simple. Beautifully timeless…