WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A YOGA STUDENT ADHIKARA BABY!
SEPTEMBER 16, 2010
Super Duper Namaste,
During the month of August I devoted myself to Adhikira. Adhikara translates as studentship. So this means I made a full-hearted effort to be a student of yoga. Martha McQuid says, “In Sanskrit, adhikara refers to being spiritually open, or ready, for spiritual study (in Sanskrit, Sadhana). It also implies a level of ownership and willingness to take responsibility, as well as dedication, for the subject that is being studied. (*More on adhikara below)
During that month I explored a wide variety of studios and tried over 20 teachers! I know we say that yoga is non-comparative, that on the mat we don’t compare ourselves to others, but how do we know without trying different teachers what we like a little bit better or what suits our tastes or personality. The point is to keep trying and give everyone a shot. Being a student of yoga means that you are open, dedicated and willing to try other teachers. It doesn’t mean that everyone’s style or personality is going to suit you. You might find some teachers more to your liking. But don’t stop trying, don’t refuse to have the pleasure of learning from someone new.
That’s the most important part. To be a student of yoga means to embrace everyone and be open to the holistic experience of what is possible. And to me it also means that each of us as students is responsible for making that class the best one of our lives! Being a great student of yoga is co-creating right along with your teacher the most delicious alchemy where we become yoga (yoked, in union). It is then when we are living our Namaste: the light of what is good in me sees and celebrates the light and goodness in you, and together we celebrate the beauty and love that exists within us and outside us! From my heart thank you to all the teachers at TBY that subbed for me, and special maholo, love and respect to all the students at TBY who opened their hearts to new teachers. I NAMASTE YOU! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
*ADHIKARA CONTINUED “Thus, a student that is brand new to yoga wouldn’t begin a practice in an advanced level class, despite excellent physical conditioning, or a background in dance or gymnastics. There is a linear rhythm to learning anything - music, mathematics, language. We always begin with simple ideas and then move forward into the complex. For example, when you learn a musical instrument, you don’t start by trying to play a Mozart concerto. We begin by learning the notes and where they fall in the musical staff, then fingerings, then scales, then simple tunes and over time with dedicated practice, Mozart! A newer student who pushes too hard can get an overload of this energy and not understand it or be able to contain it. In order to prepare the body to receive this energy, we take a methodical approach to practice. In yoga philosophy, this idea is supported in The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali 1:14 which is translated as ‘steady practice over a long period of time.” Now apply this to a new yoga instructor. They are trying their best, and the only way they can get better is if you allow them to practice and grow. I promise you they will exceed your expectations if you just give them even just a little while to evolve.