200th post. Holy cow!

I suppose I have been busy for the past two-and-a-half years. This is my 200th blog entry. When I step back and think that each post is roughly 400 words which is a page-and-a-half, I have easily written the equivalent of a novel (although a very disjointed novel). Like any writer worth his salt, every now and then I go back and re-read my entries. I have to admit there are some posts that make me cringe, but most make me feel satisfied.

There I times when I feel I write about the same thing over and over again. In one of Kofi Busia’s talks, he reflected on his days with BKS Iyengar. He told Guruji “after all your teaching I have concluded that your system can all be boiled down to ‘legs straight, arms straight, spine straight.’ He then granted me with an advanced certificate.” As any good Iyengar practitioner knows, that is the general rule, but it is far more nuanced in how you get your arms, legs and spine straight. In a way, that is how I feel about my writing and this blog.

One other aspect about my blog I have noticed: I am radically changing with this practice. Earlier in my  blog, I wrote heavily on asana and biomechanics. At some point the spiritual side of my practice kicked in and wove its way into my writings. As I am also a mental health counselor, my background and practice with psychology has also found its way into my writing. Also having a recent death in the family has also influenced me quite a bit. I don’t consider myself an activist, but some of my posts are downright militant! I do notice I am passionate about defending yoga and the Iyengar style. I do see commercialism as a great obstacle to the evolution of the practice and write at length about that.

In some ways I feel I am a bit of a renegade in the Iyengar community as this is an unsanctioned blog. This is an Iyengar teacher’s perspective and not the Iyengar teachers’ perspective. But my fan base hasn’t complained yet and I have been reposted on the IYNAUS Facebook page many times over, as well as other countries’ Iyengar associations. And I continually get positive feedback from senior teachers all over the globe. So I must be doing something right.

I think we are all born with a siddhi, or spiritual power. As I peel away the layers, I think one of my siddhi-s is my ability to write. I never plan to write these posts, they just come to me at whatever time. After 15 minutes the words just get vomited out of my fingers without any real sense of doership on my part. I wonder if others have the same experience.

I am almost afraid to admit that I have other writing projects. One of them is the Sutra Discussion on reddit. As I am hopefully going to be ready to go up for my Junior Intermediate I certification next year, I feel I need to know the concepts in the first two pada-s on an in depth level. I read sutras daily and think about them. I feel this has been another catalyst in how my practice has transformed me. I like how reddit allows others regardless of their level of experience to discuss the sutras. I feel they are accessible for anyone who wants to go a little deeper and not as esoteric and unaccessible to the modern practitioner as some theorists purport.

As I have written before, I don’t have any great ambitions to be a writer and don’t plan on teaching yoga as a living any time soon. My work as a mental health counselor provides me a sufficient income, and jives nicely with my teaching schedule. Thank you for reading my rants, and may you stick around for my next 200 posts.

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7 thoughts on “200th post. Holy cow!

  1. mishedup

    Thank you!
    I enjoy your blog. I love your passion for the Iyengar style of yoga and while not a strict practitioner myself my teacher has strong Iyengar background and relies heavily on it in her teaching. I have taken several different workshops with a senior Iyengar teacher, Lisa Walford, and look forward to each time I am able to work with her.
    From my first class the more spiritual side of the practice was apparent in the way that my mind stopped….moving meditation personified. Now I do yoga every day, I sit in meditation every day, so many things have changed in my life because of my practice. i am eternally grateful.
    And I love reading your blog and others and books and teachers that I admire, because each little bit of insight adds to my practice, and I never know where that will come from.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. yogibattle Post author

      Thanks Mish! You have always been one of my staunch followers and always provide great feedback. Sometimes I wonder if my blog helps anyone, so its nice to know you find some value in my writing. It is also nice to know that others like you can “see” the spirituality of the Iyengar system. I think his siddhi was not only the ability to teach asanas, but like Narasimha hidden in the pillar, he was able to cloak the whole of yoga through his asana practice and teaching and it is revealed to the earnest practitioner of this style. Those who don’t practice the system can’t see it and only call it “modern postural yoga.” It is clearly far beyond that. Many blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. So...

    I love the unfolding of your blog, Michael and your posts have been something I look forward to. Excellent food for thought. Look forward to many more posts from you.
    The bhakti aspect of Guruji’s yoga has been the draw for me too…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Jean

    Your blog is a wonderful gift. I look forward to seeing it in my inbox. Thank you for feeling my practice and saying things I feel about Iyengar yoga. Don’t stop and how do I find you on Reddit?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. ambfoxx

    “The words get vomited out of my fingers.” You made me laugh. Thank you from a writer and yoga teacher. Like “arms straight, legs straight, spine straight,” fluid clear writing is harder and more complicated to achieve than it seems. I suspect you polish and revise these posts as often I re-straighten my knees and reaffirm my neutral spine while holding an asana.

    Liked by 1 person

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