I've been thinking about being a senior practitioner and its connotation as my teacher mentioned in passing last Saturday that it was MAHA I had brought my SENIOR energy to a studio full of newbies ( & their inseparable water bottles , chug-a-lug) . And on my way out of class this evening, I was asked, "How long have you been doing this ? " My response being " going on 7 years, but I'm still learning ."
So here are some excerpts from Joelle's piece that resonated with me :
"Advanced yogis work on breathing techniques & focus, since mental acuity eventually helps them transition into MEDITATION, considered the ultimate goal of yoga. Even if advanced students can't find the full expression of a pose, they will try it with concentration & HUMOR."
"If they are truly advanced, they can perform challenging asanas without the accompanying SMUGNESS." ( Right on Alonzo E., pop-up to standing from Urdhva Danurasana. Well done ! )
There are some quotes as well from Cyndi Lee of OmYoga NYC & Kino McGregor from Miami Yoga Center, both of whom have been featured earlier on this blog.
The quandry or Zen Koan for SENIOR /ADVANCED practitioners is , as instructors & studios start catering to the boom by providing "Yoga-Lite" classes , where to go for "higher learning" ?
Cyndi Lee's OmYoga has started to offer advanced level only classes , meaning you are advanced enough and ready to learn more. I've been fortunate to find reciprocity from teachers in my devotion towards them (as recognition of their light & talents) by being gifted with additional instruction.
My parting words to the ladies who had inquired into my practice this evening was , "Asana & vinyasa, if learned properly from a good teacher, are actually very liberating ."(JIVANA MUKTI in Sanskrit)
Image via the NYTimes.