That is the phrase we put on our certificates. It is a reminder, a call to action and an expression of hope. We strive to be all of these things, even though they are difficult to achieve and even hard to define. That effort and rigor is what we hold dear, wanting to be thoughtful, considered and willing to change. As it says in the Gheranda Samhita, there is "no friend greater than knowledge, and no enemy greater than ego." (1:4)
This is perhaps the hardest goal to attain because it requires ever-changing self-awareness. It is easy for the ego to grow and blind us to our own arrogance. It can seem paradoxical, but the ego can derail us at any point along the journey. It is obvious that we need to be humble when we begin, but it is just as important as our skills and knowledge grow.
Discipline is what makes the other values come to life. This is action, practice, research and persistent curiosity. Sometimes discipline takes on a sinister form, if we hold ourselves to practices or ideas that are leading us down the wrong path. In those difficult to recognize instances, our discipline must be subordinate to our humility and deeper purpose.
History and modern research both provide invaluable information. It is vitally important to know where we come from. What are the origins of yoga practices? How have they changed over time? Most importantly, how does that knowledge inform what, how and why we practice today?
Even as we keep history in mind, new information and knowledge is developed and uncovered every day. We are remiss if we ignore it. Therefore we must be willing to adapt and evolve when new knowledge contradicts old beliefs. We don't do anything for the sake of "tradition." It is our belief that tradition informs us about the intentions and knowledge of our predecessors, but we cannot limit ourselves to their history, beliefs or knowledge.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
- Understanding Chair Posture
- Lock the Knee History
- The 113 Postures of Ghosh Yoga
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Forward Bending