Well, folks, it's still teacher training time for me out in the jungle so you know what that means: we're in reduce, reuse, and recycle mode on the blog! I hope you don't mind this opportunity to revisit what I consider to be some real gems from the blog reel. After all, repetition is one of the best ways to learn! So, on with the show...
Evolution: it's one of the things I love most about the practice of yoga. Practicing yoga initiates evolution in every part of my being, and that evolution in turn creates the opportunity for evolution in my practice of yoga. It's a self-feeding loop that has no discernable beginning or end: an infinity crossing, if you will.
I've taken to listening to/watching this seemingly unending series of TEDTalks on my iTunesU or on Netflix when I'm working around the house and want some interesting background noise. I don't catch a lot of what comes out of the speakers, and really I should only do as much as I can actually pay attention to at once, but... every now and then I catch a gem that zeroes in on some brilliant stuff for me in the moment. This week, I got one.
It was on precisely this subject: evolution. Though it was in regards to technology specifically, the ideas expressed were being taken far beyond the scope of technology. Rather, it was bringing attention to the expression of technology in areas beyond its everyday bounds. Seeing as how I like to think of yoga as a personal technology for improving our everyday lives, this was perfect! The talk was given by Kevin Kelly and I've embedded it here so you can take a gander.
If you really pay attention, you can apply so much from this talk to yoga, or rather you might see in a new way how yoga reveals the connections that already exist all around us. Principally, though, what caught my attention was the piece about the 5 overarching trends of evolution:
Ubiquity - Wherever life is it never retreats: nowhere on Earth have we been that we have not found life.
Diversity - Each creation, each movement in evolution creates more opportunities, more diversity.
Specialization - We see movement from a more general purpose to a more specialized function.
Complexity - We see a gradual movement of all things towards greater complexity.
Socialization - There's more and more life that is completely surrounded by other life, co-evolving.
As Mr. Kelly points out, these components find expression not only in biological evolution, but also in technological evolution. I submit that you will also find these components in a healthy, evolving yoga practice. Yoga becomes more effective as it becomes ubiquitous in our lives, seeing its thread in everything we do. A healthy approach to yoga is diverse, staying open to the changes in our beings as they present themselves and open to the varying methods such change might present. As for specialization: remember that whole concept of moving from the gross to the subtle? Well, there you have it. As a yoga practice and its person mature, both gradually uncover more complexity and demand more intelligence. And finally, though a yoga practice is at its heart very personal, evolution is always facilitated by socialization: a community co-evolving and supporting each other.
Once again, practicing yoga initiates evolution in every part of our beings, and that evolution in turn creates the opportunity for evolution in our practice of yoga. It's a self-feeding loop that has no discernable beginning or end: an infinity crossing, if you will. So, if you get real quiet and sit with it, can you tell where your yoga might be stagnant and in need of a kick start? And on the other hand, can you see where your yoga is evolving, creating the opportunities for even more opportunities, and growing forward?