There was a student in last night’s yoga class who stopped right in the middle of the sun salutations and just stood stock still. She said she needed the salutes explained to her in more detail as I was teaching them completely differently than how she had learned.
You know me, I’m not very strict in following one style of yoga, an approach which has its disadvantages – one of them being, how’s a student supposed to learn something by rote if the teacher keeps changing the program? The advantage to learning primary series in a method like Ashtanga Vinyasa is that the student can repeat the practice any place, anytime.
From my student’s perspective, I was being blasphemous by not teaching the way she’d learned the salutes in Satyananda Yoga classes. To her credit, when I slowed down and taught the “new” way, she quickly got in step. And, after class, she said she didn’t mean to be critical, just that she found it difficult to be mentally flexible.
In Bernard Bouanchaud’s version of today’s Sutra, he poses the question of the reader, “Am I able to accept others’ viewpoints as well as my own and see that they complement each other?” And further, “Is it easy for me to accept that my vision is limited?”
It’s all about perception. We can never see all sides of an issue, and everyone sees a given situation or object differently. Imagine a world where people understood that differences come from the observer’s mind and not from the person, object or situation under observation.
All that is perceived is related by the common sharing of the three qualities.*
*Patanjali’s Yogasutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.