Author Topic: Advice to a 16 year old yogi  (Read 8144 times)

David Williams

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Advice to a 16 year old yogi
« on: September 11, 2010, 02:06:33 PM »
I study mysore-style yoga in Miami and love to practice yoga. I took a workshop with Nancy Gilgoff (and she told us you went to India with her to study with Guruji) and said that you were an amazing teacher. I am sixteen years old and have been practicing since I was twelve. I try to maintain a daily practice to keep my body, mind, and spirit constantly refreshed. I also teach yoga (with a certification) with an emphasis on instilling a love for yoga with basic asana technique and breath. I am a full-time student at school and I've always wanted to study yoga with a teacher one-on-one the way it was originally taught even for a short time. That's why when I saw that you teach individually, I was wondering if you travelled to teach during the winter. (You don't have any scheduled workshops then.) I have 16 days off from school and am curious if you would be interested in coming down to Miami to teach during the winter. (I'm also trying to get my family to do it too!) I love my practice and want to go deeper but I'm no allowed to go to Mysore until I'm a bit older. If you are interested, please contact me.
Dear Andrew,
Thanks for writing.  I encourage you to enjoy daily yoga practice for the rest of your life.  Since you have taken the time to write such a nice, sincere letter, I will give you some energy in return. 
After 40 years of uninterrupted daily practice, I have this to share with you:
Don't ever do anything that hurts or is even uncomfortable.  This is not yoga, it is masochism. 
Yoga is a method to get naturally high. 
You are one injury away from destroying one of the most precious thing in your life, your painfree yoga practice. 
Know thyself...listen to your body, don't ignore it if something hurts.  If it hurts, you are hurting yourself.  One millimeter beyond stretching is tearing. Tearing causes scar tissue. You do not want to sculpt your body with scar tissue. 
Reaching your flexibility potential will come from stretching and breathing with the first focus being the continuous strong bandhas.  Find the position in each asana where your body feels the best.  That's where it is the most energizing.  By feeling good, your body is telling you what it wants and the result is, it will produce endorphins and seratonin, getting you naturally high.  Pain has nothing to do with this.  Pain is not to be ignored.  It indicates injury and is to be avoided; don't let an inexperienced person convince you otherwise. 
I am taking the time to say this to you, because you are young and will get conflicting advice.  Print this letter, save it, and read it again in 10 years.  Then you can write and tell me if I was correct or not.
If you want to practice with me, I will be in Florida in the near future.  I look forward to meeting you.