A beginner yogi's journey is mostly one of physical struggle and psychological reformation. Building strength and flexibility, beginning the conversation between mind, body and spirit. Seeking, identifying and becoming familiar with that connection.
The intermediate student (where I think I am) has established the mind, body, spirit connection. Their physical awareness and development allows for them to continue on a deeper, more complex journey of connection. More finely tuned awareness, more powerful physical postures and physical presence, more profound release.
I think (though admittedly I don't know) an advanced practitioner (or perhaps and advanced student) is someone who can do all the postures. Or, more specifically, one who has leapt over most or all of the physical hurdles. Once the physical obstacles of strength and flexibility are overcome, a new journey of union can begin. One that is focused more acutely on meditation, completeness and transcendence.
I have been led to believe that extreme physical prowess, like doing advanced postures, is not necessary for profound awareness and connection. I have no choice at this point but to believe that this is true. The physical nature of the postures is certainly not the ultimate expression of them, but it makes me wonder: can there be union without the physicality? Perhaps, once our union has become effortless and ever-present, our yoga transcends the physical realm, making asana unnecessary.
As I imagine teaching classes of students at different levels, and as I create posture sequences for myself, I am face to face with what all this means. What postures to do and why? What intention to seek and why? What is the journey? What direction should we go?
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