In the 21st Century Yoga has blossomed into a broad and varied approach that deals with the human condition. It tends to incorporate aspects of the physical, the emotional/psychological and the philosophical. Different branches of yoga will emphasise one or more of these aspects; drawing students to sometimes very physical practices, sometimes very theoretical/philosophical practices and sometimes to psychological practices.
My interest comes from a loosely humanist perspective firmly rooted in the here and now, and my view has shifted over the years from a largely physical view of yoga to a view that encompasses the complex relationship between things, and the way perception influences everything. What do we make of the impressions that come in through our senses, and how do we respond to those impressions?
These are the questions that seem important and keep yoga live and ever interesting.
The anatomy workshops are designed to clarify the principles that underlie asana practice. They attempt to ensure that students will have enough anatomical information to enable them to make intelligent and thoughtful judgements about what is useful practice. They are accompanied with fully illustrated booklets that support the material dealt with in the workshop.
My regular classes are simply about practise, to take the sense of the practice to a more useful level. They are not so much to tell students how to do yoga, but rather to provoke an enquiring attitude to the experience of yoga. There is always room for query and dialogue in these classes. The clarification of themes and ideas in asana practise is important to me.
This book has been very much a work in progress and some of my ideas evolved in the writing of the book, most notably a change from a more structural way of seeing the body to a functional perspective. Structure and anatomy can only get us so far in our understanding of how we embody ourselves.