Yoga is movement and balance at it’s core. I do not teach yoga, but I do teach foundation movements along with progressions to include balance and multiplanar movements that are very yoga-like. Why couldn’t you teach yoga without the full on mindfulness? For many I think the mindful side of yoga is presented in too steep a learning curve anyway. Just like learning any form exercise, each piece should be introduced and progressed in a manner that the client is comfortable in doing. And a fitness professional should follow their instincts on when not to include some aspects of a program. I discuss these types of things with clients to make sure that I am not misreading them.
My Name is Henning Papendorf (Brunswick, Germany)
Yoga means union. The only way to realize Union with the Divine or with the eternal all pervading Being or the very Self (dwelling within yourself and within every other being) is to let the mind go BEYOND all sensual impressions, thoughts and feelings, beyond all mental activities.
Yoga Asanas have a good cleaning and supporting influence on the body and nervous system in order to realize higher states of consciousness, but… most of the time, the practice of asanas does not lead to this “going beyond” or transcending of everything. The easiest way to realize the Self or Being is to minimize mental activity until pure awareness is all that remains. Complete stillness of the mind, but wide awake in it-Self!
“Be still and realize: I am GOD”
I am practicing a very simple transcending method of meditation for almost 43 years and I enjoy it every single day – morning and evening. In almost every meditation, after I have finished my yoga asanas and pranayama (breething excercizes), my mind comes 2-3 or even more times to this status of Non-activity and of “loosing the world”, but gaining THAT.
I am That, you are That and all this is That.
But to tell you the truth, already since I was a preschool kid, I realized this experience once in a while, which is as – I believe – very natural to everyone. Later on I forgot about it until I found it again and was trained systematically when I was a student.
The combination of asanas, pranayama and a transcending meditation (without concentration!) technique is perfect and very soothing for the mind, body and nervous system.
please excuse my linguistic errors 🙂
As an older man teaching in a gym setting I don’t think that yoga should be considered as an “exercise” class. There are much better cardio formats and better strength building activities. Yoga should be what it is, a centering practice that brings the mind, body, sprirt together. My classes are always focused on feeling good in you body–“digesting” the work they did in the other fitness activities. What good is a buff body or a yoga butt if you are miserable nervous wreck? I teach all of the classical ideas but leave out most of the sandkrit and Vedic terms. It works for me.
With the explosion of yoga over the past decade, we’ve seen a Westernization of traditional practices to make yoga more accessible to a Western audience. While the intention to make yoga more inclusive is a good one, sometimes the result is a trivialization of the practice to the extent that it barely scratches the surface of its traditional purpose. In many facilities, we end up with yoga as not much more than an Eastern form of calisthenics or a fashionable and exotic form of “working out”.