Accountability in Yoga

Accountability in Practice

When people ask about a program, primarily training programs, there is usually an inquiry on how this program differs from other programs. Having the privilege to serve as a specialist on many training programs, there is a degree to where it is visible how I support the overall program structure in a way that varies from how a Hathavidya program is conducted. However, there are so many programs and approaches that differ and fluctuate like the breath itself.

Speaking of the breath, including its energetics - Nadis, Bandhas, Chakras, OH MY! - this is where my playground is, and with any playground, you have people testing out the slides, swings and then maybe doing pull-ups or eventually climbing a tree. This is how we can look at the levels of the students and the level of emphasis of the program – you may have a student that wants to slide and the program wants them to slide but also to know the swings, etc. That is exactly where my work comes in.

Desire. We have a desire to attain more, to do better. This can be a beautiful thing, especially paired with intelligence and action. Even the mere desire to know is a great stance; however, we run into trouble when desire is met only with accumulation of knowledge or lack of experiential knowledge or manipulation. I know, blah blah blah.

Let’s do a really quick examination of aspects of classical Hathayoga. Try to look at the texts you know: Hathayogapradipika, Gheranadasamhita, etc., and see them not as in competition but as having different delayed mechanisms. See how the Gherandhasamhita will save pranayama for later due to all the other preparatory practices such as kriya, asana, mudra, etc. This is all very specific for the student to arrive at a particular experience at a particular rate of maturation within the structure of this release mechanism. All of the different lineages within each of these founding scriptures have different ways at forcing, releasing and allowing these mechanisms to serve as a vehicle for transformation. Even Iyengar wrote sirsasana cycle for most cures in the system but never writes where exactly the pressure should be for those proper effects to occur. This is what separates one learning the way from one who knows the way.

Time to account for your blessings. Blessed with accountability. A student once started to say something and I said, “Stop”. It was not out of lack of respect or to be rude but to stop the thought completely. If we talk about the mind having chatter, what good is rumination? I held firm with that the practices work. If done properly, a sadhana that is cultivated and monitored will actually lead to a state of yoga. That’s really cool!

Later she told me how happy she was that I did that because it stopped her from the continuous story in her mental feed. She did it though. She listened to herself and to me - she practiced and set the story aside.

Desire met with action and intelligence leads to Moksha. If we look at the teacher, the supporting texts and cultivate trust and faith that the techniques work, the instruction is individually honed, the student only needs to do the practice and meet the demands of the practice. This is accountability. This process is fueling your desires with intelligence and action. You reach for the stars firmly in standing steadiness.