Last weekend, Kino MacGregor talked about the spiritual journey of yoga and I lapped it all up. I used to be the type that denied I had any sort of spiritual dimension. I just didn’t like the lack of scientific knowledge and blindness that I thought it implied. I wish I had known the following from teenagehood...
Kino talked about the three different types of knowledge (Yoga Sutra 1.7). The first is the most common: reason or rational knowledge, appealing to the intellect, the rational, the logical, the Sherlock Holmes... Find a clue! But this is limited by the known universe and known facts which change! The facts that the earth was flat and the centre of the universe were replaced with newer facts. However, ancient yogis said that you should pursue the knowledge of rational thinking on the understanding that this is a foundation to another, deeper type of knowledge.
Next is emotional, devotional, faith-based knowledge. We all have this capacity. Children have this, trusting the parent. You take knowledge from a teacher that you trust. This type of knowledge carries a danger of institutional pressure or abuse potential if taught by self-serving or only partially enlightened people.
Thirdly there is the knowledge of direct experience and evidence. It needs to be experienced as true for you, for knowledge to be complete. This has a problem too; it can supersede and block out all other types of knowledge.
Ideally the three types of knowledge don’t fight with each other but line up. This is when the potential for spiritual progress to occur can be tapped. Yoga is the tool to do this. Yoga practice wants you to evolve as a human being, wants to uncover your true nature which has somehow been forgotten or obscured by behavioural patterns of the mind the ego and material and physical measurements of self-worth. Yoga is the only practice from orthodox India to emphasise personal practice which starts are journey from rational knowledge through to devotional knowledge through to experiential knowledge.
What a lovely retreat! if you’d like to come to Kythera with me next year, please let me have your preference for May or September. So far, four people say September. And f you want to squeeze in a retreat this year, please get in touch with Andy Gill to find out about his Himalayan monastic yoga retreat, 5th -12th October. You will become part of a Monastic community for a week. I’ve done that in the UK and it is special. I didn’t have added Andy and yoga, though!
October is the best month of all! It’s a bit like January and it’s New Year Resolutions. Gyms fill up a bit more and more newcomers find their way to my Home Studio. See attached for class availability. There are plenty of spaces left. See attachment.
The Om Yoga Show is coming. It’s on the 18th, 19th & 20th of this month. David Sye will be there. I beg you every year to do his workshop! This year it’s called How To Get High On Your Own Supply! Teachers/’presenters’ that are always great to be with will be there like David Kam, Dan Peppiatt and Adam Hocke, Marcus Veda, Tara Styles... so many! Fancy coming?
Yoga in the News
Popsugar has: Amazon Is Selling Yoga Skeletons, and Yes, They're Still More Flexible Than You Are. I chose this story about spooky yoga decorations because the picture is good!
If you’re thinking of buying a yoga mat, have a look at this... The Evening Standard has: 10 Best eco yoga mats in the UK. Lifeorme comes out well but you can probably do better for the price. You can check out the yoga mat market at the Yoga Show this month.