The Heart of Yoga

I was looking for a theme for this page. Something that would sum what I do up…. Something that represents why I think the study of Yoga is so valuable. Actually- essential- for me. Others may find it through music, through work, through their families. I came across the image of the heart and thought ‘Yes!’. Because Yoga is all about the heart. It breaks your heart, it broke mine, and then puts it back together again. As if your heart was an old clock that was held together with sticky tape and just about ticking away on that basis, Yoga pulls the rusty components apart, scrapes out all the crap that was stopping your clock/heart working properly and polishes it up. Oh, and fits it with a super new high energy battery. So you no longer need to use the sticky tape. And if the clock is your heart, the sticky tape is your habitual patterns, the ruts you are maybe stuck in. Or perhaps a relationship that’s going nowhere.

Its not painless. Its nuclear. It tears you apart. You can’t practice Yoga and expect things to remain the same, to keep things as they are. Change occurs over and over. And when you learn to read these changes like messages, like a form of divination, the teachings of Patanjali come to blazing life and they are no longer something you only pay lip service to for tradition’s sake. There is free information on tap from the beyond if you care to follow the Sutras, from the nature of linear time to how to treat yourself and the rest of the world. Sometimes after a practice it can feel like the universe is unfolding its secrets just for you.

People look at a picture of some blonde in a leotard smiling beatifically from Lotus posture on the cover of an overpriced glossy magazine and think THAT’S the essence of Yoga. And that they could never do that.  It makes me sad. Not that I have anything against blondes. Or leotards. But to reduce the study of Yoga to THAT trivializes it somewhat.  I rarely buy Yoga magazines. Because studying Yoga is romantic- its following in the steps of thousands, who have all struggled with the same issues over thousands of years. Its maps your soul, allows you freedom to see yourself and the world daily anew. It allows you to see that you are not separate. That you are not alone.

I have been practicing Yoga for several years, I recently qualified as a teacher and I run regular Hatha classes in Sheffield. For the past four years I have been learning the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga which I love and struggle with most days. Its like a dance, a journey timed and powered by the breath. I love the austerity of the practice, the lack of frills, the emphasis on your own experience- because the sequence is always the same you can use it to map where you are and where you may go… I have been to Mysore previously and hope to return in the near future, to spend some more time studying.  The learning never stops. Never…
More later……

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2 Responses to The Heart of Yoga

  1. Tanya July 22, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    Hi Victoria, well done nice website! I like your introduction and the analogy to a clock is great!!
    all the best Tanya x

  2. Alexis May 19, 2018 at 7:20 pm #

    Glad to have found your site. What a wonderfully articulated perspective on the basic principle of yoga. I look forward to enjoying more of your teachings.

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