On having a purpose. Notes from Prashant’s class

On having a purpose. Notes from Prashant’s class

Thoughts on Teaching Yoga and Philosophy

Today’s  class was a bit more physical than the preceding ones, but philosophy is  still very much the focus.  It is getting a little bit easier to follow the rotation of poses and  the switching between  “come and listen” and  “go and do.” 

Here are the main lessons  I took from class.  I’m going to be brief as my hand is kind of bugging me  from  too much  writing, blogging   and Facebooking while sitting in a chair under the fan.   I need to move to the table even though it is not under the fan. (again, learn to deal with the non optimal circumstance)

Have a purpose in doing. Even if it  turns out to be the wrong purpose, you’ll end up with a better result  (and a better purpose)  if you start out with a purpose. 

I was  reminded of the movie, Babe, for some reason.  “Pigs don’t have a purpose.”  Well,  Babe turns out to have  a much bigger purpose than being Sunday dinner.  

The  purpose of  being here is  to learn, not to do.   Becoming  a better learner should be the  aim.     There’s a RIMYI  t-shirt  that says, “learning is as much an art as teaching.”

Work with the  concept of   “You, yours,  and  in you”    not  the idea  of  it is “you doing the pose.”  He  says this in pretty much every class.  What  I take this to mean is  if we think about  solely ourselves in the doing of the pose, it is a manifestation of  ego.  If we work with a more  collective  integrity, then we have a more expansive sense of  what aspects of us  are doing the asana.  

Today he  used the   metaphor  of  team work to illustrate this process.  We should be  making body act as  a team acts.  When the  team work, is well established all the part function better 

“Use yoga  as a means to understand your own  embodiment.” 

There’s more to yoga than embodiment, but he has a very rich understanding of  embodiment.  We are embodied, we should aim to understand that embodiment.

“Prepare yourself  to approach the study on a deeper level.” 

 Integrative association with the breath is  a large part of that  process.

Our normal  way  of  categorizing poses is  for beginners. 

Rather than  thinking about poses  in  terms of  standing poses, forward bends inversions, etc, learn that   any pose  can be  done for a variety of purposes.   By this he did not so much mean  for  a  therapeutic effect, but if we focus on doing the asana  from the pelvis, which is mostly what we worked on  today,  we  see one, let’s say, energetic array,  if we spinized or brain-ized the same asana, the energetic would be different. 

The normal categorization is  pose based  rather than yogasana  based.

Skill is ability to  achieve  numerous results from a limited set of resources.

He used the  example of  Milk,  eggs, and ghee  you can make a number of delicacies.   “if you are a skilled house wife.”  If not so skilled,   maybe only one or  two things. 

We are given  everything that we need. 

He talked some about karma here.   W are not  given a burden heavier that what we can bear.  Again, more to come.

We make the mistake of thinking that we are overwhelmed by responsibility.

By and large, we  did the asana from the pelvis.  What does that mean?.  First I think it meanstake your awareness there.  Bring the awareness of your breath to that  region.  Breath from that  region. Observe what happens in the  the asana when that region is the focus.  

Could you teach without reference to  muscles or  bones?   Would you be reduced to silence?  (Though of you here, Karlie  and  that story you told about  a teacher of  yours. 

Tasting the nectar of yoga is not like drinking instant coffee.

I’ll write more about this later, but he specifically referred to BKS’ claim that he has  tasted the nectar of  yoga.  Prashant actually said, this is not where he is aiming.  He did not say where he was aiming.     He said, we  get  rapped by the consumeristic mindset of  wanting everything now  (ie  instant coffee). Yoga doesn’t work that way.

As we were in  the final   pose before  Savasana   again he talked about 

Make a lesson better for yourself than the one I just gave you

Rotation one. 

Parsva  Sukasana  

AMS  hanging


Rotation two 

Rope sirsasana, trik,  utthita  hasta pad,  and Parsva hasta pad.  

Rotation three,  women did supta 1  and  men  Bharadvajasana  1

Choice of  JS,  VK,  chair sarvangasana,

Savasasna  legs in Swastikasana. 

More later,  I’m going to go stand on my hands. 


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