The magic of yoga: Jenifer Vaughan interviews yoga master Rodney Yee for New Life Journal. (Breath & Movement).
"Think of all the possibilities," he continues. "The body has so many different capabilities so far as movement, and possibilities of movement. In our modern society, we've limited our vocabulary of movement so much that the body is really hurting, it's really unhappy."
What can we do to change this? Yoga.
Yee, 45, is one of the most well-known faces in Yoga. He is the author of "Yoga: The Poetry of the Body." He is also featured in Yoga Journal's Practice Video Series and was recently featured on "Oprah."
Q: What is your definition of Yoga?
A: I believe yoga helps synthesize the mind, the body, the breath, the spirit ... (but) it is not actually creating union, it s cutting out the illusion of our separateness ... Yoga is a way for us to listen to ourselves deeply and then from that listening be able to respond in a way that is fulfilling for our lives ... All the meditation, the pranayama (breathing), the asanas (poses) are a way to come to some sort of clarity, even if it s the clarity that you re confused.
Q: What is the role of yoga in popular culture today and has it changed over the years?
A: It has changed in the sense that the people who used to be involved with yoga were involved in it as a complete lifestyle, a complete way of life ... And now, it is in some sense a tool, a tool to do specific things ... (Now) yoga is being used ... more singularly, (to meet) specific goals.
Q: How do you think yoga enhances the lives of those who practice it?
A: The main thing is it gives people time to listen to their body. It gives people a technique to listen to their body. It gives people a technique to listen to their breath. It gives them a technique to harness the concentration of the mind ... It s a way in which people can tune in instead of tune out. It s also a way people can become more balanced with their relationship with the world around them and the people around them ... It is always a good thing--the idea of listening, observing and responding instead of reacting. We all have resistance, we all have pain, we all have difficulties. Yoga teaches (you how) to put a little bit of space around that difficulty so you can sit with it and comprehend it more deeply.
Q: What is the benefit of the yoga poses?
A: Our body is meant to move and be used and be playful and enjoyed. Yet, we ye basically caged it up ... Yoga allows you to explore movement on the most basic level. I can change my positions in so many different positions. And from that, my body, every joint, every muscle, every pattern of the nervous system is accessed. It s always a wonderful thing as a human being to be more fully utilized, (to) engage (the) mind into the present moment into what s happening right now instead of being preoccupied with something that already happened or something that might happen.
Q: Is there a right way to practice yoga?
A: There are better ways to practice for a certain individual ... Yoga is very personal ... We should be doing yoga that brings balance to our life. There are so many different yoga poses and different yoga approaches. The question is not is there a right way, but an appropriate way for you to practice yoga for your situation at the moment.
Q: On that note, is there a wrong way to practice yoga?
A: Yoga that doesnt create concentration and ... yoga that denies what a person is feeling ... can be detrimental.
Q: How often should one practice yoga?
A: Any time you re listening to yourself, anytime you are doing some physical work that s very deeply observed and listened to, you re going to benefit from that period ... That s the magic of (yoga). You do one pose a day it's better than doing no poses a day. You do 400 poses a day it s not necessarily better than doing one. You have to do it with quality and mindfulness. But if you do yoga mindfully for even five minutes a day it s definitely going to help you.
Jenifer Vaughan is an associate producer at CNN. She has been a student and lover of yoga for five years. She currently studies yoga at Stillwater Iyengar studio in Atlanta.
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|Publication:||New Life Journal|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2002|
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