|Open Yoga Journal|
A study plan for yoga offers many advantages, maximizing our ability to effectively utilize our own resources for self-exploration. In this article we will try to answer such questions as: What are the key factors for successful learning? How to choose the right school of yoga? Why is the personal presence important during the studying process?
Yoga is a path that liberates us from all constraints and ultimately leads us to absolute freedom. Just as there are numerous paths that lead to one mountain peak, there are many ways that lead to the highest goal, and each person is looking for their own way. There are periods of life when it is better for us to rediscover the knowledge of yoga on our own. At some point, there comes a time to interact actively with our community. At this point we can walk along with people whose paths are close, helping each other on the way. The communities that use the same methods in yoga form a so called “yoga school.”
In a yoga school, we can find help and support from people who already have a strong theoretical base consolidated by a deep personal practice. Moreover, we can accelerate our spiritual growth by passing this freshly obtained knowledge to the others.
What are the benefits of interacting with like-minded people?
In life we are motivated either with a stick (fear) or a carrot (rewards). However, the stick disappears over time and the carrot becomes tedious. In the absence of the stick we tend to become lazy and gradually degrade. A similar situation happens with the carrot: we want to achieve certain results, get them and without another carrot we get overwhelmed with boredom and depression.
The paradox is that the better the living conditions, the more difficult it is to develop self-motivation. This is much easier accomplished among like-minded people. A strict discipline and compliance with all the requirements during the years of study is that “poison”, which in small quantities turns into medicine and motivates to further successful studies.
A certain restriction of freedom during our studies will allow us to embrace this freedom after completing the studies, when we become well-formed and independent to develop our own system of self-motivation for further development.
- Unleashing the inner potential
The chances are we have abilities that we are not even aware of. However, when we start interacting with like-minded people through passing exams, the general atmosphere of learning, through our group fellows we reveal and develop our inherent but dormant abilities. This is a very tricky evolutionary mechanism.
- Modern technologies
In our modern world, the technical progress is hugely accelerated and the trend of distant learning (MOOC) is gaining momentum. More and more schools and universities are switching to online education. International Open Yoga University (IOYU) is one of the first in the world to introduce a distance education system (in yoga).
- In-person interaction
However, the attempts to replace live learning with a virtual one lead to schools fracturing. A physical presence is mandatory, that is, people who have expressed the will to study in the same school gather in one place at the same time. The in-person interaction allows students to accelerate the process of understanding even the most complex subjects and this understanding stays for life. We must attend the place where the knowledge is transferred, even if we do not understand anything.
In the East, people have already concluded that it is impossible to maintain the tradition only by means of visualization. In the yogic treatises it is written that the members of a school must physically assemble. Knowledge can be transmitted only this way – as the ember passes the fire on.
On the one hand, we are pushing through new technologies, on the other hand, we need to communicate with like-minded people personally with a certain frequency, despite all circumstances and difficulties.
- A holistic picture of the world
A holistic picture of the world emerges when we look at the same things from different angles. Studying allows to explore a subject from the perspective of both the student and the teacher. Teaching and learning is a single process, or two sides of one coin. This is life in miniature, because in everyday life we are confronted with way tougher learning and stumble on more complicated and severe problems. Therefore, getting a light vaccine during learning, we are prepared for the real life. “As above, so below”.
How to choose your school of yoga?
Yoga is an orthodox philosophical system based on the knowledge of the Vedas; the practical realization of this ultimate knowledge in life. This is the law of Rita – the law of freedom and harmonious coexistence with the entire Universe. Even if in the beginning we do not understand this knowledge, we can apply it in practice. To do this, we must have confidence in the School where we learn the knowledge of yoga. Knowledge must expand our freedom. If we study at a School and our freedom is reduced without our will, then we need to rethink whether we need this School.
Having chosen a school of yoga, which is worth our trust and expands the degree of our freedom, we will advance on the path of self-exploration much faster and more efficiently, surrounded by like-minded people and under the custody of experienced teachers. The time and effort spent on studying will allow us to expand our freedom in the future, when we have learned to develop self-motivation and move independently. Physical interaction with like-minded people will reveal our abilities and lay the seeds from which the tree of knowledge will grow. Studying in a yoga school will develop immunity to difficulties, will temper our character and establish a platform for coping with any situation in life.
Choose your yoga school, effectively advance on the path of self-exploration and be happy!
Authors: Eva Rati
Author of the picture: Archive of the IOYU
Editors: Anna Prema, Evgenia Lakshmi, Yulia Volievskaya
Chief editor: Mirra
Project curator: Kerigona
Translators: Nat Satcitananda, Tatiana Sugrue, Alexander Vijaya
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