We live in a time when there is Yoga in more styles and varieties available to more populations than ever before. The old way of transmitting Yogic wisdom and experience from teacher to student held a battery of long preparation and testing before any initiation into the true wisdom and experience was allowed. A prospective disciple was carefully measured up, rigorously broken down, and masterfully prepared to receive the initiation the teacher had to offer. Nowadays, it seems, the initiation comes first, and then we go through the battery.
Some people come to the path because they are born into it. Some develop interest later in life. Some come out of curiosity. Some people have devotional tendencies and others philosophical. Some people carry predilections and talents of the mind/body and so find their way to the mat, or start studying texts or new age writings on Yoga and spirituality. While there are many reasons a Yoga practice is started, what everyone has in common is the absolute necessity to practice. We might be going through life not seeing the complete array of effects and influences on us from outside forces. We may experience our sense of self being built, healthy or not, strong or not, happy or not, and all the while not seeing our deeply held resistances to relationship, to life. Twist this up with all the complexities of modern living and we might experience a mass of problems (real or imaginary) at such a frequency that we live in a state of hyper-arousal and collapse, projection and refusal, affirmation and denial, and we wonder when, if ever there will be a respite from the demands of our situation. It seems to me that with just a little honesty, we can admit our necessity to practice, regardless of our life status and position.
For me (as I understand it today) it was a lack of sensitivity and feeling that brought me to the practice of Yoga. Though I did not know the degree of impairment I was living in and could not have told you that was my impetus for starting. Every new understanding that has made a difference for me since I started practicing Yoga has come as a new bodily feeling. Something like an emotion, though without a story, and yet full of significance. That which has served to better my life and those around me seems to have been here all along and just needed my attention and willingness to initiate.
The vision of Yoga is that it is truly possible and deeply needed to live in a more present and conscious state. This applies to practitioners of all types and skill levels, initiated or uninitiated. In the practice of Yoga one can never know what opportunity is being missed out on when one doesn’t practice, even after years of practice. Yoga practice can open a window that is ordinarily obfuscated from view. What a person sees in a sincere practice has the power to change the practitioner in ways they never thought possible. In the beginning what is important is the initiatory movement. Get started!
By: Brent Kuecker – Yogi.Musician.Educator
Initiate Your Self at Udaya Live, Yoga and Music festival, this Summer in the stunning mountains of Bulgaria!