I have always thought that teacher-worship was strange. It never made sense to me how anyone could credit a single instructor with their knowledge and growth. Maybe it is a symptom of our culture where we change teachers frequently, but I think of it more in terms of inspiration - a teacher can inspire us but ultimately we have to do the work. We have to study, practice and improve.
A couple days ago I revisited Tony's "Level 4" video. It has been awhile since I practiced with one of his videos. I have been doing my own thing for many months, following my body, curiosity and intuition as I practice asana and pranayama.
Upon practicing with Tony's video, I noticed that all of these important elements in my practice - my curiosity, intuition and courage - all began with Tony. He taught me that it is okay, even necessary, to develop an individual relationship with the yoga practice.
This leads me to a strange realization: that while my practice is completely my own and I am fully responsible for it, I owe it all to Tony and his teaching. Without his guidance toward individuality and self-reliance I might still be doing Bikram's class 6 days a week or looking to vinyasa classes or other traditions to cure my boredom or inspire my growth. Or I might have quit and moved on to CrossFit.
Tony taught me that there is great depth in a yoga practice, as deep as we are willing to explore. But we must be willing to explore. We must take responsibility for our own growth and progress.
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