Yesterday my partners daughter and I were discussing the latest trends in website design. She shared that most people don’t want to click a link anymore, they just want to scroll down and get the gist of what you offer. It’s all about K I S S ( keep it simple stupid)
It’s a great idea in theory and something I have always emphasised when teaching teachers. Postures need to be taught simply with broad brush strokes. Once the person is in the pose you can apply the finer details.
It’s obvious that as a race we thrive through our obsession with complexities. We love to transfer that onto our Yoga practice. Making it way more complicated than it needs to be
Meanwhile scholars and pundits are upset with what they see as the dumbing down of Yoga, its roots and lineages.
I used to look for the deeper meaning behind my practice. I read as many yoga philosophy books as I could get my hands on and tried my hand at answering the deeper questions to life. I even passed myself off as some sort of expert. It was a stressful time. Answering other peoples questions from things I had read or thought I’d understood. The more I looked, the more confused I became, the more complicated my life, the bigger the stress. Eventually it all went belly up and I hit the wall.
My relationship tanked, my health tanked and all hell broke loose. But the funny thing was that instead of feeling shipwrecked I packed my bags and flew to India to meet someone I had been wanting to meet for a really long time.
We had never met in person, only through emails and chats online. We hadn’t been looking for each other either. But something about our connection fostered an urge to meet. Our conversations had been intriguing, the ideas he shared brought answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. The words were obvious, easy, almost too good to be true. Could yoga be defined in such a simple way? Could the practices, techniques and years of seeking and searching resolve itself in the exploration of one tiny word?
A physical meeting was only the beginning. Saying hello to a friend, travelling for a whole year together, talking and sharing until finally I went to study alongside him with his teacher in the tradition of Atma Vidya ( Self Knowledge) in Thiruvanamalai in 2011
Meeting a true and traditional teacher of Vedanta wasn’t all love and light and and good vibes. It wasn’t easy to let go of all my ideas about Yoga and practice. It was even harder to let go of the habits I had worked so hard to cultivate with regards to relating in my every day life.
Whatever the challenges, like mastering a yoga pose it was worth it. Understanding the true nature and meaning of Self and resolving my personal search has been an incredible blessing. It’s why we include self knowledge in our retreats, workshops and teachers trainings. In my experience these teachings are easily integrated into every day life. It’s not some workshop high that fades over time.
My life is no longer complicated by theories and ideals. I am no longer hampered by thoughts. I understand the nature of thinking and how the mind works. My yoga practice has been refined down to a simple sequence that covers all the bases and keeps the body balanced, leaving me free to enjoy every experience just as it is.
Am I free of challenges? Of course not. Challenges are like mountains, daunting at first but once you scale them? Amazing!
Are you ready to climb the mountain of your life?
Here’s what people are saying about studying Self Knowledge ( Atma Vidya) with John Weddepohl
‘The teachings are profound yet delivered in a simple easy to understand format. Rather than giving you new beliefs it challenges everyone of your beliefs so you can better deal with the ideas and beliefs that you already have.’ John
‘ Non – dogmatic, easy to understand and taught in a methodology that works with logic and common sense.’ Rachel
‘Thank you so much, my time spent with you and John in India has changed my life’ Di
‘Because when you hear the teachings on self-knowledge…the popping cork in your mind is ‘of course! it all just makes sense, the explanations of how everything works; the mind, gross body…out to the universe all makes perfect sense…….there is nothing ‘special’ you have to do/be in this world apart from know and understand who is thinking your thoughts..’ Anthea
“For me there was a direct experience of oneness, a complete realisation of the non-dual reality of existence, total release from the endless predicament of seeming to be limited to an idea of “I”. What more could there possibly be?” – Dale
‘I reckon to me it’s “effortlessness”. You don’t need to wallow in thoughts looking for answers, over and over again. No looking for and running after bliss, happiness, ease. It’s all here, in front of you, no effort needed!’ – Angela