As Sri K. Pattabhi Jois says, "Practice and all is coming" I am often left with, what the hell does that mean? I get it, practice yoga, and all is coming. But it seems like such an elusive thing and as I have used it as a profound quote on instagram to caption a picture, when let's be honest, I had nothing else to say and it's one that I always come back to. I now sit here after 12 hours of advanced training from two yogis (who I ironically met through IG) and I look at the quote a bit differently.
Yoga is such a broad spectrum of practice anymore. I, for one, do not think that one way or lineage of yoga is right or more profound than another. I have always come from the perspective of, if it feels right to you and you call it yoga then that is your yoga, so practice it as you wish. Now, I will say from a personal opinion of what I practice and lean towards, I would, selfishly, consider that my practice is more yoga than some others that I haven't quite understood or caught onto yet. But thats okay and, I digress :). I decided to do a bit more digging into this popular phrase and look into what it actually means and I have a spoiler alert, I still don't know. But what I found was something I felt compelled to share.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois is one of the first names I learned in my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) back in 2015. He is a voice of yoga that comes up a lot in the Ashtanga practice. He often was referred to as Guruji by those who practiced with him directly and were fortunate enough to learn from him directly as he toured parts of the US and of course taught predominantly in India. The thing that I find particularly sad about the passing of him in 2009 is that from what I can see and understand, my generation and those after me do not have someone like this to study from. I could be wrong and likely uneducated in the sense that anyone who has a Guru status like his is most likely not on social media, in yoga journal or worried about his Yoga Alliance accreditation (more on my thoughts with this to come). It leaves me sad because we can't be left with nothing can we? The yoga culture so diluted now that we are just left to follow those with the largest IG accounts and the most talented photographers to speak for their practice? I wish I had a better point and direction to this besides just feeling defeated and somewhat left out.
As I ready more about this man, I am left with the feeling of, Damnit! I wish I couldn't met him! He seemed so real, so intricate and so humbly profound. Something that was consistent in a lot of the articles and witness pieces that I read was this, "You Do". So here is this Yoga legend, telling people "You Do". How vague can this man get. But yet, I'm over here like yeah "You Do", how incredible is that. I could ramble on and on about the ways that this could be interpreted, but the thing that I keep coming back to is this, yoga is what you make of it. No matter how fast or slow, what moves you make, the practice is internal. In fact he even said "Yoga is an internal practice. The rest is just a circus". Well, there you have it.
I share this today because the more I get asked about yoga, what it is, what it should be, where should one practice, what YTT should I take and all of the other AMAZING questions that I get the privilege to be asked, I am learning more about how to answer these questions. It truly is for everyone. There are a lot of yoga fundamentalists (who I absolutely appreciate when they carry themselves in a way of a yogi rather than a unsolicited projector of opinions) who would say otherwise, but if we really look at Jois' words, Yoga is an internal practice... and practice and all is coming. Isn't that enough to debunk the rest?
Yogis, keep asking questions. Keep Learning. Do your research. Find what works for you. I will do the same and will be sure to encourage others of this. Because truly, Practice and all is coming.