FOCUS OF THE WEEK: REPETITION (Aug 12/13)

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Whether you have just embarked on the path to enlightenment or have been at it for a while now, surely you must have noticed that the practice of yoga emphasizes a high level of repetition.

Repetition in yoga is far from being a method of perfecting asana even if it seems as such, but it is rather a method to clarify one’s perception. Our real aim as we glide from Updogs into Downdogs is to remove the veil of ignorance.

A beginner may be taught Trikonasana (Triangle pose) in his or her first class alongside a longtime practitioner who is also being instructed to come into Trikonasana. Both asanas are the same but the quality and experience of the asana is totally different for one student or the other. Concerned with alignment and “getting it right”, for the beginner, the pose still happens on the skeletal plane, while for the advanced student, Trikonasana probably provides a state of meditation. A beginner’s Trikonasana would be controlled and guided by the teacher in the room, while the advanced student would be guided by his own inner teacher.

Repetition does inevitably create evolution as does everything you keep doing again and again but more importantly it creates an incomparable involution. A journey from the external to the internal, the gross to the more subtle, the mundane to the extraordinary, the physical to the spiritual.

In this principle right there lies the genius of the yoga system. You may already know this but there is no harm in repeating it, so here goes: Whether you are relatively new to the practice, or have been doing it for quite a while, I would like to reassure you that both ways, yoga is an endless well of discovery and you are on a path that will keep unfolding and revealing itself in many layers…layers and layers and layers and layers and layers….

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