i love asana. inversion asana. standing asana. twisting asana. balancing asana. any kind of asana asana.
and i love alignment. knees bending, arms straightening, heart lifting. the whole thing just gives me purpose.
but i’ve been in class lately, listening to teachers, taking themselves way too seriously, preaching fire and brimstone about the “traditional” way to do a pose or the way it was “intended” to be and i want to burst out laughing at this whole institution and how it’s evolved (or devolved). when a bunch of buddhist monks started doing yoga asana 5000 – 8000 years ago, were they really concerned that the core is fully engaged and the shoulders spiral open?
okay…i’ll admit, i’m as alignment crazy as just about any teacher i know. but i’m realizing more and more that this is no more than the ludicrous western interpretation of asana and if i were a betting man, i’d bet it’s not even close to yoga as it was originally intended…a number of general asanas meant to keep the body healthy and the mind in place.
but wait…here’s the part where i mitigate my guilt. i really do believe that the true benefits of yoga lie way beyond asana. the reason i love the challenges is because they teach me how to keep calm in difficult situations. i love the non-judgmental nature of the practice and the things it teaches me about myself. and i love the alignment. arggggggggh! i love the alignment!