L is for Learning Yoga

Learning yoga never ends.  People have been teaching and communicating (writing, speaking, recording visually) about yoga for centuries (actually millennia).  If you did attempt to learn all, or even probably 20%, about yoga, you would spend your entire life doing so and never have time to do anything with the knowledge.

And let’s be clear about that:  to understand hatha yoga, you need to be able to do something with the knowledge.  As Hatha Yoga Pradipika says, “The practitioner will succeed; the non-practitioner will not.  Success in yoga is not achieved by merely reading books.”

Learning has two parts:  What to learn, and How to learn.

How to learn is the easy part.  In the history of the world, never has so much information been so easily available (and misinformation, too, of course, but we all know that -- you have to second-source, or third-source, everything you find on the Internet if you want to have any confidence in its accuracy).  

There are classes, books, videos (DVDs, YouTube), websites, ad infinitum.  You can learn, by yourself or with company, and get some hands-on experience with private or group classes.  You can work your way up, from introductory classes and information to the more complicated and difficult.

What to learn is the challenging part.  Yoga for your life should be an informed decision, not just what you gravitated to or fell into.  You really should do some investigation of various forms of yoga.  That is what this website is intended to help with.

You need to learn what is best for you, for your interests -- lifestyle, social, health, fitness interests.  Yoga for you has to be interesting, beneficial, enjoyable.  Also it has to survive an evaluation of whether it is really what you want from a yoga practice.

The conclusion is inevitable:  you need to do a self-assessment of what you want in the way of physical and mental fitness, then look at ways to attain it.  Decide whether to include yoga in your list of possibilities, then decide in a disciplined way which forms and styles of yoga to look into, and then how to do so: research, classes, observations of others.  And so forth.

Be enthusiastic!   In hatha yoga there is something for everybody and every objective.  You just need to find what is right for you.  Whether yoga takes a major or minor part in your physical life depends on what else you do physically and in your life.  But it should receive serious consideration for a role of some kind in your life.  Or not.  All is well.

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