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With a gentle approach to yoga the truth can be revealed...

I have practiced yoga with relatively few teachers over the years... Just a dozen or so. Sometimes by circumstance, sometimes by luck or inquisitiveness. I like to try experiences that don't necessarily support the biases and opinions that I already have (we all have them and this is normal). Social media shows us what we want to see or what it thinks we should see, it's a dangerous space to only be gathering information and experiences from those who are similar to ourselves. It has also fractured and sub-fractured different cultures and interested into echo-chambers so we don't really know what each other are viewing and it makes it difficult to gauge others opinions. This in turn makes it more difficult to find common ground and makes socialising IRL confusing and generally a little harder.

I digress, what I have been taught by recent teachings based on postures and yoga philosophy is that there is great merit in practicing with an open mind to see what can be revealed in the process, rather than forced from a place of expectation.

Take a yoga asana practice that focuses on mobilising or developing flexibility in the hips for example (99% of classes atm). After years and years of Triangle pose (Trikonasa), Pidgeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) and Splits (Hanumanasana) I was rewarded with a hip injury and lasting chronic pain. I followed all the 'correct' alignment cues and it still didn't keep me safe from a yoga injury.

However, with an open mind and a new understanding, perspective and patience, tension in the hips can be still be released in a much more subtle manner to a great impact. A gentle tension, patience, enquiry and a broader focus of the benefits that yoga can bring has led to a different kind of revelation.

Have you changed your approach to how you treat your body? Are there any revelations that you would like to share?

Two men resting in a yoga pose on mats on a wooden deck in the sun

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