It was great to see you again and see that you are doing so much with Yoga Alliance. We had a conversation with Pam Weber and she seems very interested in some of our ideas. We really like Yoga Alliance and the fact that the organization is American, however, we don't like some of the things people say about Yoga Alliance's standards. Tony, Lisa and I were talking and came up with the idea of YA adding a Category. In the same way Colleges and Universities have Masters Programs. What if YA added a Masters Division that was above Teachers. This way you could stay with the present set up and have another category that will inspire teachers to achieve and also stipulate the 8 essential stages of Yoga. To uphold the integrity of Yoga.
One of the things we always talk about is the difference between "change" and "transformation." It is the difference between a mechanical change and a chemical change. Not all change is transformation. Transformation is going from ice, to water, to vapor that's a chemical change and taking wood and making furniture is mechanical. Any yoga can effect change but to transform the human into the divine requires a more exact plan and procedure.
I think it would help YA enormously if they established a standard with the goal being Samadhi instead of "what ever", people would respect the organization more and the program could not just change but transform the world.
I talked about the American Welding Society and explained that fusion of metal and fusion of consciousness are identical. The AWS recognizes many different types of welding but holds them to the standard of a flawless (within limits) bond. I think a Masters Program in Yoga could do the same thing; following the generic steps of the Yoga Sutras. Clear goals get better results! Having a well defined standard for Yoga would give YA a more respected presence in the Yoga world and would give aspiring Yogis tangible guidelines.
Hey, lets face it Yoga has become a very broad topic with many approaches and applications. There isn't anything wrong with diversity but it can get confusing. Just like welding there are many processes and there are different applications of those processes. For example there are tack welds, fillet welds and full penetration welds. In all of these applications there are ways of determining the integrity of the weld without confusing the application of the process. The same can be done with Yoga.
Lets say, there is yoga for status quo, yoga for change and yoga for transformation. Just like in welding you are using the same tools but have different applications.
- Yoga for Status Quo: - Some people go to yoga for entertainment, relaxation, company etc. they don't need the eight stages and for the most part aren't even interested in them. A little movement, some breathing exercise and throw in a guided meditation and they are all set. Tack welding is how we begin fusion of metal and learning how to manipulate molten metal; sometimes, you are just trying to hold something in place.
- Yoga for Change: those who are looking to go deeper into the practice will apply these strategies with some intention and perhaps make changes in diet and nutrition. With the law of diminishing return with 20% of anything you can get an 80% return which is enormous. Even diluted yoga has great benefit especially for those practicing skillful use of breath, skillful use of water, skillful use of food and skillful use of exercise-- it can sustain big changes. Fillet welds require the skill to run a uniform bead of metal, in various positions without undercut or excessive buildup. You can hold things together indefinitely with this process.
- Yoga for Transformation: This is for the serious seeker the ones who are willing to do the 80% to get the remaining 20% return. There should be no mistake about who these people are. These are the followers of the 8 essential stages of Yoga laid out by Patanjalis. They have a path of action, a path of knowledge and a path of devotion-- total consciousness is an all or nothing venture. Truth is an arrow and the path is narrow. Full penetration welding requires joint configuration with a lot of preparatory work and the welding requires a high level of skill to deposit the metal consistently in a flawless bond. Unity is the intention here fusion of metal and fusion of consciousness are identical but they require the highest standards.
Yoga as a Transformational Science is a complete holistic health management system of practices to initiate a process that leads to the expansion of the individual identity beyond the limits of the physical body. The merging of the human into the Divine.