Yoga teaching is not just the knowledge of doing physical exercises, but also the whole layer of moral and ethical rules and laws of the Universe. When we attend hatha or kriya yoga classes we might want to learn how yoga works, and some of us may want to pass this teaching on to others. The learning process is the implementation of the acquired knowledge and its application in practice. Learning requires not only the efforts of a teacher, but also of a student .
People start practicing yoga for different reasons. Some want to improve their health or adjust their weight and body shape. Any reason that led us to yoga is fair enough. It is a good sign that we are ready for a change. In the meantime our life goals and objectives adjust as well. The key is our own wish to use yoga knowledge for bringing the positive changes to our lives.
What is the best way to commit to learning if we’re serious about getting spiritual? We should let the First Principle of yoga sink in. This is the principle of Kindness or Ahimsa, the principle of no harm. The teaching of ancient knowledge begins with this principle. Without kindness there is no yoga.
When we sign up for the learning process, we seem to get into a new world of like-minded people. Everybody there follows the First principle of yoga and expects the same from us. We must not harm anyone, either by word, deed or thought.
Also yoga encourages us to observe the Second principle, the principle of logic and consistency in life. It is like a razor blade cutting off any irrationality. We should act logically: “If you set a goal — go for it!”, “If you promised something — do it!” — and we will be treated accordingly. For us to understand the teachings of yoga to the maximum benefit, it is necessary to tune in to learning and observe some important laws. Before starting teaching, we need to “express our will”, express a clear intention to gain knowledge. If the initial will is strong, then knowledge will penetrate into the depths of the heart and mind. If we don’t do it, then the education will be superficial, shallow.
Our attitude towards the Yoga Teachers is also very important. If we want to gain knowledge about yoga, we need to choose a school of yoga that suits us and does not create a feeling of internal rejection. If we choose a school for ourselves, we should respect its teachers, try to be attentive and absorb the yoga teaching.
How can we avoid mistakes in learning and where to focus our attention?
In yoga the disciple is compared to a bowl that is filled with nectar of knowledge. How can we avoid mistakes in learning? How can we fill our bowl of knowledge and do not spill it out?
- Do not be an upside down bowl. Otherwise, the nectar of knowledge will not get there. Sometimes we are physically present in the class, but we do not even try to think about the meaning of what is happening. In this case there is no learning. We need to immerse ourselves in every word, dissolve in it, absorb the very atmosphere of yoga.
- Do not be a cracked bowl. If the bowl is not upside down, but it has cracked walls the contents will not stay in it. It will leak through the cracks, nothing will remain. This can happen when we half-listen or get distracted by extraneous things. By the end of the lecture, we are losing the thread of the lecturer’s narrative and cannot at all retell or expound the meaning in our own words. It takes us away from our goal and it’s a complete waste of time, which is our irreplaceable asset.
- The bowl may be flawless, but dirty inside. Everything that gets into it gets dirty. Whatever we put in this bowl, everything mixes with dirt and does not get good results. What can be classified as dirt? It could be pride and indifference, disrespect for the teachers and the school, lack of diligence or laziness.
Yoga of studying is also a yoga practice
Yoga of studying is an individual subject taught at the very beginning of the first year at the International Open Yoga University. It includes a number of recommendations, following which we can quickly get involved in the learning process and make it as effective as possible.
There is a phrase we should all remember: “You learn something new every day”. Those people who are continuously studying, undoubtedly win and advance along the evolutionary ladder of life. Yoga of studying is a guidance not only for the further studies, but for the rest of your life. These instructions greatly save our energy and resources and accelerate the learning process.
You should be aware that yoga of studying is a full-value yoga practice. We must learn to develop the right attitude to the entire learning process from the first steps. We should make our best efforts to comprehend the depths of this ancient knowledge, and radiate into this world the willingness to absorb this knowledge.
If we focus on studying, the results won’t take long. We should stick to the principles of morality and kindness and follow our goals with due diligence and patience. Our positive attitude and desire to acquire knowledge will be our best assistants on the way.
Study yoga with pleasure and put it to good use!
Article author: Julia Namrata
Photo: from IOYU archive
Edition: Volyevskaya Julia, Evgenia Lakshmi, Eva Rati, Olga Belous, Anna Prema
Project Curator: Kerigona
Translator: Way, Tatiana Sugrue