This morning we put 2000 books in our garage. The shipment arrived of our Beginning and Intermediate Manuals plus the Bose book. It is a lot of heavy boxes full of a lot of hours of blood, sweat and tears.
We feel compelled to offer the information in these books. It is difficult to find good, clear instruction on yoga practice, whether you are a beginner or an advancing student. As we were learning we searched high and low for teachers, books and videos. We continue to. We want these books to be useful, easy to understand and packed full of information.
They are designed with a coil binding so they lie flat on the floor. You can set them next to you while you practice and refer to the instructions and setups.
We included as much information as we could about each posture. Why do we do them? What are their benefits? Are there any tricks or shortcuts? What should we be careful of? Each posture has its own page of explanation separate of the pages that describe its execution.
The instructions for each posture are what we are most proud of. We have never seen a book with this approach before. We break down each step of the postures and include a picture of the step. Each turn of the foot, each bend of the elbow has a photo and a description of what is happening in the body. So execution of even the most complex of postures becomes very clear.
Do you ever feel like you need to start over from scratch? Like your habits have piled so high that you can't even find the bottom - the pure intention or expression that made you start?
Sometimes I find imbalances in my body, ruts and movement habits that I have reinforced over years of movement. It is so difficult to undo them. I find myself returning to the beginning - the simplest movement, the smallest bend. I try to engage the proper muscles, use them evenly, with control, not just plop down deeply into a posture relying on my habits and imbalances to support me.
It is funny, because I feel like the deeper I get into any given posture, the closer I am to the beginning. Somehow I am simultaneously progressing into unknown territory and at the same time retracing my steps backward to undo my bad habits.
I don't need to worship Bikram in order to benefit from his system of 26 postures. I don't need to vilify him either. The postures are useful and the system is useful. I am grateful that they exist, regardless of who invented them.
I don't need to worship Steve Jobs in order for my Mac or iPhone to be useful, and I don't need to worship Alexander Fleming in order to use Penicillin.
Today is the first day of a new era for me. Our books are finally at the printer, so my days of endless proofreading and editing are over (for now, at least). I am returning to my practice with a renewed passion and vigor.
So much time in the past few months has been spent focused on instruction, both with our books and the regular classes I teach. I have noticed the lack of personal focus, development and progress. I am eager to explore some new depths of myself and continue on my own journey.
I have kept up my practice enough to not slide backward too far, but I can feel the build-up of un-tapped potential. I am so happy and relieved to be returning to dedicated practice.
Also, I hope to return to regular posting here in my online journal!
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga