I am just coming off a 5 day intensive with ParaYoga teacher Rod Stryker.
See more about him here: Rod Stryker Bio
This was an in-depth study about the teachings of Tantra
Yoga which is an incredibly ancient tradition based on the flow of energy in the body and how it can be manipulated to create "awakening" to the inherent beauty and bliss in the world. Another very popular system Anusara Yoga is based on Tantra
as well, though there are so many schools of thought within Tantra
that I wouldn't know for one iota if they're in the same school.
We spent 5 days doing asana
(cleansing techniques), mantra
(chanting) and meditation with the express purpose of moving prana
or life force throughout the body. Incredibly transformational stuff. I am currently overwhelmed with information and the urge to incorporate it all into my personal practice. If only there were more hours in the day....
When I look back to just a few months ago, before I started studying privately with Ben Vincent
, before I did a weekend with Bhagavan Das
, or when I look back to my newly teaching self 2 years ago, or my teacher trainer self in 2009 or even my "I am only doing this for fitness" yoga self from all the years prior to that, I am amazed by two things. The first is the incredibly vast amount of information available for anyone seeking a yogic path and the second is how exponentially my practice has grown in a short amount of time. And how each time I take a class, do a training or even talk to another yogi, the possibility for growth and understanding presents itself.
While I am pleased with progress, I constantly have the sense that the more I learn, the more questions open up and the more I don't know. At times this is truly disheartening, and other times, profoundly inspirational--that the path upon which I tread will never run out of potential for new techniques and new understanding.
That being said, I feel even further away from understanding my own role in this game of yoga. So many divergent paths all promising the same (or similar) outcomes, how is one to decide? Each time I learn a new method or explore a new path, I feel drawn to pick and choose the things that work for me and discard those that don't. Can I piece together the meditation and pranayama
of Tantra with the sangha
(community) of Anusara, the long holds of YinYoga, the brilliance of Theresa Murphy and Yinyasa, the alignment of Iyegnar, the dharma talks of Tias Little, the kirtan of Bhagavan Das and my own yearning to forge a new path all of my own?
It all remains to be seen, my friends.
I'll be in India starting next week for 5 weeks. I have every intention of sharing some while I'm away, but sankalpas
(intentions) don't always align with actuality.