I recently discovered a secret garden in the middle of London.
It's not the prettiest, more like those American parks heavy on the concrete. Three people were there when I found it, two men smoking and a woman, tucked up and lost in thought, sitting on a bench in one of the garden's hidden nooks. Clearly, she'd sussed this place out ages ago.
The smokers came and went, as did a few others, but we were all silent in this spacious space. It was remarkable given that one of the busiest, most commercial streets on the planet was only a few minutes walk away.
How many times had I been on Oxford Street and never thought to venture down one of its side streets? How many times had I felt so weary and very much in need of temporary sanctuary? This garden had been here the whole time.
When you're in the traffic and busy-ness (business?) of life, it's almost like you have blinders on, so easily carried along with the other feet on the street. You become part of the flotsam and jetsam, and it doesn't even occur to you to step out of it. That's exactly when it's most important to remember (re-member) to 'move within', check out of auto-pilot and see exactly what's around you. Where you want to go may not be that far after all.
The kind of yoga I teach is for human beings living in the Western world in the 21st century.
Yes, we practice classical Indian yoga poses, the physical exercises known as Hatha yoga. These traditional asanas have been around for thousands of years. However, humans have evolved, mutated and changed since then.
Our nervous system is different, for one, and we live in the head so much more, two. Not to mention the earth, and how its atmosphere has changed as well. So, to practice yoga, either poses or meditation, as if we can replicate some kind of golden age of enlightenment or recreate an ancient, mystical state-of-being doesn't do much for the modern person.
For instance, 'clearing your mind'. An impossible task as the thing never shuts up with the critiquing, judging, and yah-blah-yip-yap drip of what we should do or what others think or how we need to do-this-to-get-that. Another approach is to ignore the mind when it attempts to interfere (or inter-fear?) and try to run our lives. What is beneficial are higher thoughts, and an ability to guide them and construct them to help create and move through life with clarity and purpose.
Yoga in Blue Jeans
"To communicate is to connect, yoga in its truest sense."