I have mentioned many times in lectures, workshops and even in my blog that at the beginning of my time in the west, there was one question that would always confuse me: ‘What kind of yoga do you teach?’
Yashendu has had the same talk a lot of times as well and of course, it still happens these days, too. So when a few weeks ago, Yashendu told about such a question by one of our participants – and the following talk – we had to laugh.
Yashendu had replied ‘Just yoga’, as usual when he was asked in the middle of a class. She was a bit confused and had obviously settled the question in her mind with the idea that we do ‘Hatha Yoga’. When Yashendu started picking up on speed once time in class, as all participants were fit and ready to go advanced, she obviously enjoyed it. Afterwards she asked him whether he had learned from a power yoga teacher as well.
After an initial confusion, we laughed with her.
There is no certain yoga for us. No particular name or brand or specification. It is just yoga, as we learned it from the beginning of our lives.
You can compare it to buying milk. Once, there was just milk. It was clear that it came from cows and it was just there as it was. You went to buy milk and that was it. Now you go and you have to choose in between skimmed milk, full-fat and half-fat, pasteurized, fat-free, fresh, non-perishable and more! That’s how when you go to buy milk, you have to ask ‘Which one?’
In yoga today, you have the same issue. You have Power Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Hot Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Flow Yoga, Mysore Yoga, Acro Yoga and many more forms. It is just not yoga.
Here, we still buy milk. And we do yoga. It is not just hatha yoga, if you understand that as only physical exercise, a few postures to get flexible or strong. Yoga has a bigger place in our lives. It is a daily question of your behavior, your mindset, your thoughts and feelings.
Of course, if it makes you feel better and clears confusions, call it as you wish. We will keep on calling it yoga however and will always be happy to explain you why!