The Yoga Engineer

Today I want to share with you some highlights of an amazing workshop I attended before the holidays with Jason Crandell, whom I call the Yoga Engineer because of his wonderful ability to deconstruct the postures, making them available to everybody. His broad knowledge of the Yoga postures anatomy, allows him to come out with a perfect formula out of each pose, making even the most difficult one not only possible to perform but also kind of effortless!
We worked on core, back bends, arm balances, advanced postures, twists, side bends and forward bends. At first I wanted to write about the “technicality” of this inspiring teacher but instead I decided to talk about more profound things he shared with us, things that go beyond the physical aspect of Yoga.
The first point he highlighted that really caught my attention was the fact that “yoga is not a discipline where range of movement matters”. I really appreciated this concept especially in a place like Hong Kong where Yoga is so competitive! “If you are able or not to touch your toes in a forward bend, that doesn’t change the essence of who you really are”. Yoga is a practice that develops awareness; awareness through the breath, awareness through the movement.
The more you understand your practice the more you can deepen into it and the final result comes as a reward but is not the aim. People often forget, or maybe just completely ignore that Yoga is not only Asanas (postures)!
“Advanced is not fast or hard… Advanced is clear simplicity”. This was another idea he brought to the table that made me feel… relieved. He guided us through a practice where we were asked to relax everything as much as we could, as frequent as we could! For me, coming from a school where I was taught to keep on engaging, this is a quite tough one to achieve, and it is a side of my practice I have been trying to develop lately. So, I was really happy to find this place with Jason as well! When I teach a class bringing the students awareness to this particular aspect, lots of students tell me it feels weird and sometimes difficult to let go, as we grow up being taught to do the opposite (not only with Yoga, but with everything in life!).
Isn’t it amazing how life puts everything you are deeply looking for just in front of you??? All these deep but simple concepts Jason kept on reminding us throughout the entire workshop, perfectly connected with where my personal practice is leading me these days: IN!
The most beautiful thing to witness was his humble approach and how he acknowledges that there is no one absolute way of doing things. The important thing at the end is finding the way that suits you better! Teachers are there to show us their way and to let us give it a try! It is always up to us to choose the one that fits us better.
So I want you to ask yourself a very simple question: why do you practice Yoga? Is it just for the stretching? is it just for the relaxing effect? What is it with Yoga that make you go for it?
There are no right or wrong answers, I just want you to think about it and maybe give a deeper sense to your practice!

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