Important notice: Some of our classes are incorrectly showing ‘Class Full’ for some users due to a technical issue. Our engineers are working on it and we hope to have this resolved shortly.
Until then if you want to double check class availability, you can still log in and book via the triyoga Client Portal here.
If you need help please contact your specific triyoga centre here, and our teams will be happy to help you.

Important notice: Our booking system supplier is currently experiencing technical issues, which is causing account and checkout actions to fail in some cases. Their engineers are urgently working on it.
Until then, if you need help please email our customer care team at [email protected] or contact your specific triyoga centre here, and our teams will be happy to help you.

Important notice: Some users are experiencing login issues due to a technical issue upstream with our booking system provider. Their engineers are working on it. Until then you can still log in and book via 1) the triyoga app or 2) the triyoga Client Portal here.

Important notice: Our booking schedules are temporarily down due to a technical issue. Our engineers are working on it and we hope to have this resolved very shortly.
Until then, if you need help please email our customer care team at [email protected] or contact your specific triyoga centre here, and our teams will be happy to help you.

from mainstream to meaningful: five ways to reclaim the true spirit of yoga

Barrie-Riseman-evolving-your-yoga-practice

Ahead of her workshop in Soho, Barrie Risman shares five ways to reclaim the true spirit of yoga by evolving your yoga practice. If you are a yoga teacher or student interested in yoga not simply as something you do for an hour or two at a time, but as a vision that informs the way you live your life – then Barrie’s blog and her upcoming masterclass workshop are for you. 

Here’s a fascinating paradox I’ve observed time and again in my 27 years of practising and teaching yoga:

There’s a way in which the yoga world can trap us, limit us and dis-empower us from fully embracing yoga for ourselves and on our own terms. In fact, the yoga world itself can actually take us away from the true spirit of yoga and sabotage us from loving our practice wholeheartedly. When this happens, our yoga practice begins to work against us in the very same ways it’s meant to be working for us.

How is this so?

Consider this: In my book, Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice, I write about how a colleague of mine was leading a discussion on issues in contemporary yoga culture in a teacher training. At one point she asked everyone who has ever struggled with feelings that they’re “not good enough” in the face of commodified images of the “yoga body” to raise their hands. In a split second, every hand in the room shot up, including hers.

Mine would have too. How about you?

Isn’t it ironic that images of yoga continue to reinforce such a narrow notion of beauty and in doing so run completely counter to the self-acceptance and self-honouring that’s truly at the heart of yoga practice?

Here are five ways to take back your practice and reignite the meaning and power of the yoga you love – for you and only you:

1 – check in with the inner weather report

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” – Pema Chodron

What’s the inner weather report?

My very first yoga teacher used to ask us this question at the beginning of class. I still love it. In asking this question, we immediately experience our inner state as different from our awareness, just as the sky is different from whatever weather might predominate. It also helps us see that inner states, like the weather, can change and shift. Both of these insights are necessary starting points for a personally meaningful practice.

Take a moment before practice to sit with this question and notice what comes up. That’s all. Just notice. Simply allow yourself to be just as you are. An authentic yoga practice begins exactly where we are but doesn’t leave us where it finds us.

2 – set an intention

Whatever style or method of yoga you practise, identifying an intention for how you want to approach your practice, and how you want your practice to serve you on any given day makes it relevant and personal to you.

In the moments before class, consider:

– What do I wish to offer to my practice today?
– What do I wish to receive from it?

Ideally, whatever comes up will naturally arise out of where you are at on any particular day (see #1.)

It doesn’t need to be lofty or complicated but holding an intention through your practice gives a point of focus for your mind and your energy. It might simply be to, “release the tension in my shoulders,” or even, “just make it through the class!”

Anchor your intention by repeating the words silently to yourself, in coordination with your breathing, or by visualising the words dropping down into your chest. Feel the resonance and energy of the words for you. Connect to them physically and energetically. Then, as you go through the practice, allow your movement and breathing to fuel your intention in whatever way makes sense for you. And after class…

3 – reflect on your experience

Svadhyaya or self-study or reflective inquiry is one of the most important, yet sometimes overlooked, components of practice. It’s how we make sense of what we do in yoga and begin to integrate it into who we are. It’s a crucial way of making yoga our own. Here are some questions to consider:

– How was your intention for the practice fulfilled or not? Why?
– What did you learn or understand about the practice itself that you can build on to deepen your experience of yoga?
– What did you hear, learn or experience that you could take with you into the rest of your day?

Asking these questions, and answering them, leads to my next point…

4 – articulate your insights

Writing, drawing, sharing with another person are all ways of expressing our insights and understandings in yoga. When we articulate our experiences, we process and clarify them, taking them to a deeper level of meaning and relevance.

5 – have an independent practice

Finally, in the quest to reclaim meaning for ourselves in yoga, there’s really no substitute for independent practice. This means having a relationship with yoga that doesn’t depend on anyone else telling you what to do.  Here’s why I believe self-directed practice is essential for evolving your yoga practice and making it your own:

– Independent practice brings you into a deeply personal engagement with yourself. When there’s nobody telling you what to do or how you should be feeling, you create the space for an inner dialogue to take place.

– It’s how you assimilate, clarify, and solidify your learning. In self-guided practice, you can go at your own pace, as you review and apply what you’ve learned from teachers. You can more keenly observe your direct experience and become more aware of the effects of what you are doing. In this way, you learn how to tailor your practice to meet your needs on any given day.

– Independent practice builds self-reliance. Self-guided yoga practice requires you to harness your willpower, your focus, and sometimes also a great deal of courage. You learn how to listen to and trust yourself. The reward is empowerment and self-reliance. By being able to practice on your own, you become more resilient and able to adapt your practice to wherever you are and whatever else might be going on in your life.

Barrie Risman is a best-selling author of Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice and creator of The Skillful Yogi, a global, online practice and learning community for dedicated teachers and inspired students. 

Click here for more information on Barrie Risman’s upcoming workshop ‘evolving your yoga: masterclass + book signing’ at triyoga Soho on Saturday, 12th October 2019.

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