Technical vs. Spiritual

adamantine_handstand

One might imagine an accomplished yoga practitioner to be a skilled technician in the art of movement. But yoga is not an art, it is a spiritual discipline. Skill in technique is often the result of innate talent. Hitting a handstand 10 out of 10 times may be purely a function of technique. The most technically sound practitioner may be completely void of the spiritual qualities sought after by the authentic practice of yoga. To reduce yoga to simply training the physical body in technique would be a great loss for the practitioner. Yoga is a process of forging the non-physical aspects of the self that simply uses movement as a matrix. Within each posture, within every breath, your nature is perfectly revealed. Use each practice as an opportunity to refine your character and you will leave the mat a better person. Use each practice as means of measuring your technical ability, and you are likely to leave disappointed.

Why I Do Not Agree With the Bikram Yoga Ruling

Photo by Rebecca Greenfield via Details.com

In the past few years the issue of intellectual property has been a hot topic in the yoga industry. Not surprisingly (but perhaps naively) the vast majority of yoga professionals and practitioners have come out in strong support of those who favor freedom for all to teach what they want, when they want to, regardless of the source. As a result of a few high profile lawsuits involving Bikram Choudhury and his creation, Bikram Yoga, yogic postures and sequences have been found to be something that cannot be copyrighted. I find this to be absurd. I find it to be in direct contradiction with the ethics of the yoga discipline, and I think it’s contrary to the health and well-being of the yoga industry. Letters of the alphabet when placed in a specific order constitute original works of authorship, protected under copyright law. Notes of music when arranged in a specific order likewise can be protected as original works. Even choreographed movements such as dance or other similar performances can be copyrighted and protected. Duplicating another choreographer’s work and calling it your own would be reproachable in the dance community. This would not be respected or supported as it has been in the yoga industry. It would be seen as a form of stealing and in direct contradiction to the ethical yogic precept of non-stealing, or asteya. Movements of the human body constitute an alphabet not unlike letters, numbers or musical notes. They are not Indian in nature, but universal…. [Continue Reading]

Why Do We Do This?

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We Adamantine® Yoga practitioners are not many. Not yet. But we all have one thing in common. We gather the best of ourselves each and every morning and hold it up to the light of our yoga practice. Sometimes that light illuminates our edges and allows for us to view new horizons. For a moment we dare to dream of realizing the full potential of our bodies to move through space, to float free of tension, to be strong, flexible and vibrant. Sometimes that light illuminates the darkest parts of our souls and reminds us that there is still much work to do. There are days when the practice feels nothing short of transcendent, and then just as often, they are followed by days that feel more like grueling feats of endurance. Why do we do this? Is it the challenge? Is it the changes we seek? Or is it something more? It’s not likely that life will ever ask that we have the physical dexterity to hold a Handstand, or the flexibility to drop effortlessly into Front Splits. And yet, day after day, we find ourselves working to develop these skills. Personally, I think we do it in order to discover who we might be. We meet ourselves every morning with a burning curiosity to find out who we could become if we continue to bump into the limits of our present potential and ask with a loud and clear voice to be more. Our practice is a way… [Continue Reading]

Out with the Old, In with the New

adamantinestudio

In just two weeks the new location of the first-ever Adamantine® Yoga Studio will open its doors for business and Guided Self-Practice classes will begin. February 2nd, 2015 will mark the beginning of a new era for the style and usher in some exciting changes for you and your yoga practice. OUT is the old schedule. Beginning February 2nd Guided Self-Practice classes will start as early as 5 am Monday through Friday, and you can practice until 9 am. Saturday morning Guided Self-Practice classes will begin at 7am and you can practice until 10 am. Yoga was designed to be practiced first thing in the morning, and this new schedule creates a greater opportunity for you to access your Adamantine® Yoga community on a consistent basis while receiving the full benefits of your yoga practice throughout the rest of the day. OUT is laminate wood flooring. Surprise! We’re installing a specially designed yoga floor by Zebra Yoga Flooring. Based on the martial art style tatami mats, these yoga floor tiles represent the cutting edge in yoga floor technology. The surface is easy to clean, water proof, and non-slip resistant providing sure footing for optimum safety when holding challenging positions, landing out of handstands, or resting your body weight on sensitive joints. The tiles are also designed to assist in retaining heat and humidity in the studio, helping to preserve the perfect environment to practice. Yes, you will be using your personal yoga mat on top of this flooring, but it’s such a… [Continue Reading]

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Wheelpose_Sheree

Every so often when I assist in Guided Self-Practice, I help a student reach a new limit of mobility in a particular pose. This is always an exciting time for them, whether it’s the first time they touch their hands together in Shoulder Roll 1 or the first time they press up into Wheel pose. However, I often find that there is a down side to this breakthrough. It seems that once a student expands their range of motion they automatically adopt a new standard for themselves and create unrealistic expectations for where their practice should always be. Often they feel compelled to reach that new limit each and every time they practice from that moment forward, and they have this idea that their body will always move like this every single time they practice for the rest of their lives, forevermore. I wish this were true. But unfortunately this is not the way the body or the practice evolves. The reality is often that the practice takes one giant step forward, and then sometimes, a few small steps back. To be honest, I have never seen a student display steady, perfectly linear improvement towards the full expression of the Adamantine® Yoga sequence without experiencing some sort of setback.  That’s just the truth. It didn’t work that way for me either. Many practitioners fail to recognize the infinite number of extraneous factors that influence their bodies and their range of motion. So many different things contribute to making the practice… [Continue Reading]