Experienced Yoga practitioners often feel discouraged when a naturally gifted dancer, gymnast, or martial artist, performs an advanced asana with little effort. As I have mentioned before, there are people with elongated joint capsules and their extraordinary range of motion is a gift. You and I may have to work at it, but the many rewards of Yoga practice are still there.
Yoga consists of many facets, and Asanas, are just one of the many parts of Yoga. Many students who have extraordinary flexibility admit they struggle with another part of Yoga - such as: The student who just can't calm down to meditate, balancing in asanas, Pranayama, Yogic Philosophy, and so on.
Unfortunately, I have seen many promising Yoga practitioners quit practicing Yoga, due to a competitive mind-set. Within their own minds - they were in competition with every student in the class and, possibly, their Yoga teacher too.
Remember that Yoga means "union." In simple terms, we can say union of mind, body, and spirit. There are many more explanations about union, but that could be a separate article. There are also many branches of Yoga and, therefore, many types of union, but competition is far from union.
Competition enhances the ego, and the ego is just a part of your personality. The ego resists union for its own survival. The ego is our social mask and does not want to share anything.
Remember, the next time you start to feel envious of another student or teacher - that is not union. If anything, it will hold you back from union and many more valuable contributions that Yoga can make to your life.
Feel free to visit our "brand new" forum that will be open to the public on July 6, 2005. You can find it at: http://yoga-teacher-training.org/forum
You will find a variety of Yoga and related topics to learn about. The moderators are Yoga teachers from various locations worldwide. Please feel free to visit and participate.
My first taste of Yoga was over 40 years ago, at the age of 7, in a martial arts school setting. I have continued to study martial arts until this day and I have four teaching certificates in four different martial arts. Now I teach both Martial Arts and Yoga.
I began to seriously practice Yoga (under Laura Foster) over twenty years ago due to martial arts competition related injuries. Laura was a skilled & knowledgeable teacher of Restorative Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Laya Yoga. After training with her for 3 years, she certified me as a teacher in 1987. I became certified as a Master Teacher (Guru) on September 15, 1995, after teaching over 5,000 hours under her wing. Shortly afterward, Laura retired at age 90.
Since that time, I started organizing Yoga Teacher Training camps. As time went on, we began getting requests from everywhere in the U.S. and Canada for a comprehensive Yoga Teacher Training correspondence course.