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A Seriously Loved Up Practice

דייויד סאי

28.02.2007

A Seriously Loved Up Practice

Yoga is just not just about the perfect posture or a flexible body - its essence is love. David Sye makes a case for putting more love and happiness into our practice – Yoga Magazine

The body is a repository of information. What you put in creates a certain physical/psychological destination – the choice is yours. We live in a mechanical world and often treat ourselves in the same manor.

As time goes by I am totally unrepentant about my desire to get students connected with the true essence of this ancient practice; love and joy are experiences so simple they often evade even the most ardent practitioners. The switch from the perfect posture to becoming more loving and joyful and accepting of oneself is totally liberating. It means we can mess up, make a mistake, and still feel good even if this means having to consciously give ourselves permission for this; in short we become our own shrink.

Of course this affect not only on the mat. Basically the perfect posture is an act of kindness to oneself. My late teacher and master, Clara Buck, was asked some years before her passing to embark upon a tour of Yoga centres to lecture on a series of particular postures. She told me she had decided to flatly decline the brief and had informed the centres around the world that she would only lecture on one subject alone without which she believed all Yoga practices were vacuous and futile pursuits. I pressed her on what was this subject? Her eyes became half closed, and flavored by her deep Hungarian accent she slowly and reverently uttered the word 'love'.

Recently a student told me that in my classes he can stretch further and open up to a greater degree than in other classes he attends during the week. Of course I have no idea what happens in his other classes except that when he was talking to me he was smiling and happy and we had just completed two hours of Yogabeats which was punctuated with laughter, humour, music and rhythms.

The physical affects of joy on the body are as tangible as the opposing emotions, and when I teach my intention is always to provide that environment. Next time you find yourself laughing ask yourself 'how does your body feel in that moment?' and then take this feeling into your practice (and into every part of your life) and if it is difficult for you to feel it, imagine it. Remember the last time you felt loved up and happy, do this while you are in a Yoga posture and do it while you are stuck in the traffic.

Happiness is a choice not a condition. Life is painful, there is no doubt, but if we use this pain together to rebirth ourselves through the simple appreciation of knowing we are alive – this is the essence of Yoga. If we reduce our worlds back to the fundamentals, the blessed beats of our hearts, the gorgeous flow of blood through our veins, here is the gift, the true joy, the success of our lives. But is we allow ourselves to get too far beyond this, like Icarus, of Greek mythology, who flew too close to the Sun, then we fall out of our own sky.

I recently told some students after a class that I am not a Yogi because I can perform perfect postures or am supple in my body I very often mess up but what separates me from a gymnast or a dancer is that when I mess up I still find the ability to like myself, to make that connection, that union, that Yoga. So the essence of Yoga is not what you see, but the sheer delight of linking your head with your heart and as a result becoming seriously loved up.