my practice i've been practicing yoga for about 9 years, off and on. it's never been a really consistent thing for me until just recently. and now that it is, i can't believe i've waited so long to take the plunge! over the years i've been practicing, sometimes i went through phases where i practiced 4 days a week, then got caught up in other things and practiced around once a week, if even. practicing this way does not lead to much advancement in yoga, i can tell you this! i'm learning that with yoga, like any discipline, consistency and dedication are the keys to success. there's this little 3rd floor room in my house i've turned into a homey yoga space for myself. i've been so happy to find that my morning practice is the highlight of my entire day. :) taking a moment to be alone, breath, and slow down before the day speeds up is so critical for me. after my practice i approach my day with much more patience, less anxiety, and a focus for what i want to achieve. trying more difficult poses is also very very exciting! i know advancing in yoga (in certain poses especially) can be slow, but i am already noticing an improved strength and confidence within me! when i can accomplish something scary and difficult in exercise, i feel much more ready to take on the daunting events in my everyday life. plus, i'm getting flooded with serotonin and endorphins- can't hurt! i got certified to teach yoga back in 2006 at yandara yoga institute in todos santos, baja, mexico. i had a very interesting experience there, but when i was finished i felt pretty turned off from yoga. i learned a lot about iyengar style yoga and now know how to correctly position my body in most postures. but, i also learned way too much about yoga 'mysticism', i like to call it. as soon as yoga becomes some sort of magic that people subconsciously consider themselves 'better' than others to 'learn', well i just kinda shut down to it. i am very anti-religion, as many of my friends know, and i don't want my yoga practice to resemble any sort of fabricated religious experience. it is what it is- a series of exercises centered around the breath. anyone can do it and advance in it with dedication. yandara had a lot of amazing teachers, but i really wish we had spent more time on the science of yoga and on the human anatomy. much time was spent on 'rebirth' ceremonies, chanting to indian gods, and satya 'truth telling' (talking about something painful in your life in front of strangers and crying, basically). i know a lot of other students there agreed with me that we didn't sign up for psychotherapy conducted by uncertified 'doctors'. gazing into a group of strangers' eyes after breathing in a way to flood the body with oxygen for 45 minutes doesn't make me feel more connected to anyone, it just makes me feel insane. i know i'm not the only one that gets fed up with some of the bs that comes along with yoga... so yeah, i left yandara thinking- i don't want to be apart of yoga... and what is yoga anyways? i've been searching for my own definition for the past 4 years to find that is can be whatever i want it to be. and for me, yoga is exercise. pretty much any discipline can be yoga- music, running, biking, art, science. so why do the asanas?? if yoga is discipline to exist in the moment in whatever practice, why do the poses? this is what i want to be able to explain when i start teaching. my boyfriend patrick is becoming my first student. he, like many men, has been very reluctant to try any poses. and i totally get it, yoga has become very feminized and sometimes just appears downright silly. i dug up one of my books i bought to study at yandara (which we never even picked up, go figure)- 'anatomy of hatha yoga'. it's definitely a tough read, but i am determined to be able to explain to others simply why asanas are good for the body, and exactly what's going on in the body when you practice. no more chakra and prana bull, i really think those terms almost cheapen the practice. plus i would feel like i was lying to my students if i told them these magical terms that have no scientific grounding. i just want to be real with yoga. and i want to teach with a real wealth of knowledge of the human body. i turned 27 yesterday on june 7th, and this year already looks pretty bright! i can't wait to see where purusha, my own practice, and teaching take me! poised on pigeon on my birthday :)

3 comments:

  1. Hayley, I can totally relate to everything you're saying about yoga. I have been practicing for 14 years and I've grown and experienced a lot.
    I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to be any part of a practice that on a subconscious level believes they are more yogic than another. I find this rampant and it has really turned me off.
    Good luck with teaching. It is very rewarding in so many ways.
    You go girl. You've got it going on and are following your path. Be true to yourself and trust the universe to guide you.
    Namaste mitraH

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  2. Hi Hayley. I recently came across Yandara's Teacher Training program and was seriously considering it for next year. I took a TT 5 years ago, got away from yoga, and want to start again. Then I came across your comments. Is it possible to ask you other questions about it? Thx, B.

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  3. brenda!

    for some reason when i get responsese i dont get notified on blogger! just seeing this comment now. of course ask me any questions! if youd like to email me privately, my email is hayleylove@gmail.com!

    thanks for coming to my blog! xo xo

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