Finding One’s Self With Yoga

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Finding One’s Self With Yoga

yoga teacher trainingBy Jenny Park

“I’m sick of it all,” she boomed. “The spiritual succor, Oprah’s wisdom, even that perky barista has taken to judging my sugar-laden latte with eye rolls! I’m telling you right now: I am done with all this organic-living and ‘finding me’ nonsense!”

Thus began my friend Carol’s diatribe moments after she realized her search for spiritual sanity ended up drowning her in a torrid sea of self-help. I lent a compassionate ear, acknowledged her present anti-esoteric space, and refrained from suggesting she start a juice detox or pop into a yoga school. After all, she was already teetering on the new-age edge.

After our exchange, I thought about yoga as a method for self discovery, and how we, as yoga instructors, can promote the emotional benefits of yoga training to a demographic of people who are beginning to experience self-help fatigue.

While it’s true that yoga has come a long way in public perception, many people still file it away under esoteric curiosities. If you’re looking to crack the stained-glass Sanskrit ceiling and prove to the spiritually skeptical that yogic methodology isn’t just some silly new-age machination, which promises lots but delivers little, it’s important to choreograph a class that highlights the real-world emotional benefits of yoga and minimizes the spiritual aspects. You don’t have to eradicate the non-physical parts of yoga, but why not consider re-packing the messages?

For example, instead of talking about chakra alignments, discuss tangible ideas, like balancing home and work; it’s a universal issue that resonates with a wide variety of people – regardless of spiritual outlook. Refrain from waxing poetic about ancient ideas of inner balance, and as a substitute, highlight the many studies and reports that explore yoga as it relates to business people, athletes, parenting, and even prison inmates who are now in programs that use yoga as a way to combat stress and violent tendencies.

Seva – or service – is a main tenant of yogic philosophy, and sometimes that means learning how to impart the more emotional, self-exploratory benefits of practice in a less esoteric way, thereby attracting a wider range of people who can connect with — and grow through — yoga.

Remember, not everybody bonds with their inner self in the same way; but there is a decent chance that if things are kept secular, you may be able to teach more people how to find themselves through yogic practices. Good luck, and as always, Namaste.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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2 responses to “Finding One’s Self With Yoga”

  1. Masud Parvez says:

    Yoga is a method for self discovery, Yoga has come a long way in public perception, many people still file it away under esoteric curiosities. Thanks for sharing this nice article.

  2. Marry Wilson says:

    Yogic methodology isn’t just some silly new-age machination, which promises lots but delivers little, Yoga is a method for self discovery.

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