There are many definitions of yoga: from the word “Yuj” meaning union of individual with supreme consciousness, to definition of yoga as a system and methodology, or finding God. There are many more – and I believe all are correct. In the end of the day: it is a system, and when it is followed, it leads to self-realization. But, there are many other systems in the world who are as good as this one – they only use a different method. The aim is the same.
However, I am noticing that people following one system have animosity towards other systems, or at least, they look down on them – as if the system they are following is the only correct and real one. Even within the yoga industry – where one would expect teachers would have an open mind – “religions” are developing. The one who follows Iyengar yoga (or any other for that matter), for example, would believe this is the only real system. But, here, it would be good to realize: it is just a system among many others. It may not be the best system for someone else.
As teachers, we should inspire others. I remember, when I was younger working in advertising. I came across with many “clever” individuals who, due to their own lack of confidence, have spoke the words of animosity toward others. Back then I lacked confidence in myself and they discouraged me to make further steps in creating my story. Because nothing was good enough in the eyes of the “clever” people. Today I know, that authentic people do not have the need to put someone down. They are telling their own story with light – there is no need to comment on others – they are too busy living their own story.
For sure, technical part is also part of the knowledge we possess. But, above all, inspiration, hope and compassion I will always choose above all. I never chose a teacher without these qualities as they show peace with themselves, understanding and acceptance.
We cannot accept someone who is teaching yoga in a different way because we are not at peace with our self. Not accepting others shows that we haven’t accepted ourselves and that we do not believe ourselves enough. If we did, we would not promote ourselves by putting others down. This action can stop someone to start living their dreams. Because we are making a “VIP circle”. Instead, we should encourage others by making it accessible to wider population. At the same time we know, that each person needs a different method, which is not necessarily our method.
I think it is amazing how yoga has developed. Life is a change, and everything is constantly changing and developing – the same is with yoga. We cannot use methods from many years ago because people have changed. I don’t know if someone is only using 86 postures from Hatha yoga Pradipika with the purpuse to sit in the lotus posture. Hatha yoga is being used for different reasons now to cater for today’s man and his or her needs.
Some people are very good at body control – it is amazing what they can do with their body. And, this enough is inspiring. Some have more interest in theory – for sure they contribute to the knowledge, some are stronger in subtler ways. We all have a different combinations. And, this combination – within each of us, is making us unique.
We can only do this when we fully live our own story and when we accept ourselves.