Yoga & the Journey to Authenticity

In Mark Singleton’s book, Yoga Body, he sheds light on the ancestral history and development of what we call yoga today. Specifically, he focuses on what happened to yoga in the last two hundred years. News flash: it isn’t an infinitely ancient, unchanging practice arising out of wisdom from exotic elders. It is actually a conversation that was bounced back and forth between many countries and culture, evolving over the years to become what it is today. His book tells a complex story, which inspires social authenticity within the yogic community, and this powerful knowledge helps me maintain my personal authenticity as I teach and practice.

What people think about when they hear the word “yoga” always varies. When I first began practicing it was a foreign word and blissful relaxation.

After some time I had more variant experiences within my practice. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to all types of studios, all of which had its own figurehead or guru to reference. This helped me bear in mind that I would never let myself get boxed in by only recognizing one singular idea of what yoga “is.” This is part of the reason why I choose to teach Grow-Yoga, as it is constantly evolving and doesn’t pretend to be a finished product.

Mark Singleton’s book sparks surprise, confusion, curiosity, and even humor, as I envision countless students investing so deeply in the myths of yogic lore. Some people really need yoga to be something that hasn’t changed in thousands of years, with a single origin. This view I can vaguely relate to, though it makes me giggle to think that there are so many out there chasing the dragon on a mountain-top, as if they would love nothing more than to go back in time and live out the lives of ancient monks. There is a security in thinking that thousands of people chose to practice the same yoga as you, as if there is strength in numbers. For me there is even more strength in knowing that I am free to move as I feel inclined, without rules or limitations. It makes me excited for the future of yoga and what it will look like in another hundred years!

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