Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just when I thought I was on my way to becoming an authorized teacher...

Well, not really.

I never really gave a crap about that. And I still don't.

So, apparently, the AYRI wants its authoried teachers to refrain from teaching anything but Primary and to refrain from giving Workshops.


What I look for in a teacher is not whether they are authorized. What I look for in a teacher as a threshhold question, is whether they have been taught by SKPJ. The reason is that while SKPJ is still alive, he is THE SOURCE. And if I cannot go to the source, I want to be taught by someone who has been to the source. Plain and simple.

In time, this will change. People will have been taught by Sharath. And perhaps someday, I will look for a teacher who has been taught by SKPJ or his grandson. Or perhaps in time, I will simply look for a teacher who has been taught by someone who has been taught by SKPJ or his grandson.

What I seek is as close to a "primary source" as possible. The further you get from the primary source, the more distilled is the teaching. I want the purest possible teaching.

After that, I care about a personal connection, trust, safety, a lack of greediness about teaching poses, a joy in teaching, a certain something.

My feeling is that these new restrictions on authorized teachers are going to simply make authorization irrelevant altogether. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot...



Ursula said...

Hi Lauren,

2 teachers are here in Mysore at the shala. It is Saraswati and her son. I am very thankful that I am in Saraswatis class. She is so attentive, so helpful, so experienced. A man of an age like her son cannot compete with her.

I only wanted to add something that is perhaps not known if one is not here.

You pictures are great.


Claudia said...


Why do you say this is a "new" restriction? where did your read that?

I am just curious because I thought it had always been written on their web page, but when you said it is "new" I got curious, did they make a special announcement somewhere?

LI Ashtangini said...

The rules aren't new, they have been around since day one but AYRI (or, KPJAYI as it's apparently now called) has chosen to enforce them more strictly now. Authorized teachers were never supposed to teach beyond primary. The rules seem a little silly and controlling to me, but I'm not in charge and no one asked me anyway! :)

eeyore said...

and what's with the teacher directories? beginning last week put up a note saying they were no longer posting the directory, after 11 years thanks for coming by, now it's at AYRI's page. so i went to ayri and they basically just had the certified teachers and a very few authorized teachers listed. yesterday, i think, a directory was back at listing everyone but not making any distinction between authorized and certified. what gives?

LI Ashtangini said...

My guess is that didn't want to run afoul of KPJAYI so they now just list general teachers? Considering all of the workshops they list all the time :) That's just a guess on my part though, I have no idea why they did that.

Anonymous said...

YC, well said! A teacher who's been to AYRI and has the qualities is best - forget about the pieces of paper :)

Ursula, thank you for your insights about Saraswathi! She seems to be the one I'd seek out now at AYRI, for me anyways.

Yoga Chickie said...

Sorry - I did mean to include Saraswati as well.

boodiba said...

Rules schmules.

I wonder if franchise fees are coming!

LI Ashtangini said...

I dunno but according to this blog, Sharath 'revealed that he's read some of the Internet commentary about the new authorization rules'. LOL, why do I have the feeling that even if I wanted to go to Mysore I'd be on some sort of blacklist. Not HER, she's a BLOGGER!

boodiba said...

Ooh hey let's start a long conversation about Sharath's package!


It's surprising how many people you wouldn't expect actually read blogs. In my own case, absolutely every "serious yogi" who claimed directly not to read them or who others claimed never would, absolutely did.

Yoga Chickie said...

The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get. I don't even know why.

If Sharath reads this and never wants to authorize me, that's fine. Because I will NEVER NEVER NEVER spend two months every two years in a place that reviles women for their womanliness (monthly blood) - the very thing that made their own birth possible. That is such a nonstarter for me. That is also a reason why I could never practice at a certain place in NYC, where a woman was notoriously told to leave Puja when she revealed that she was on her period.

The more fundamentalist end of the Jewish spectrum reviles menstruation as well. And while I am proud to call myself a Jew, I would never be a part of any faction of my religion that considered women dirty at any time of the month.

There's that.

And also, what value is there in authorizing people without regard to their teaching ability??? THAT MAKES ZERO SENSE TO ME. How does the authorization/certification system take into account who might be a good teacher, and who might suck?

I said it in my original post, and I will say it here again: the more they circumscribe who can be authorized, the less important it is to me that I be taught by someone who is. All I want is to learn the Ashtanga system in a way that was effective for the person who is teaching me, and I find that the teachers who have been to Mysore, with or without authorization, are the teachers who teach the most pure, undistilled yoga, the kind of yoga that I want. The kind that is not like a dance class with new-age music and fake yoga pose names.

I don't care why the FYRI or whatever the FUCK it is called now is doing what it is doing. I don't care about what kind of power trip anyone is on. I don't care one bit. All I know is that I am going to a workshop with Tim Miller in September, hmmmm....and Christopher told me I can practice on moon days as long as I take Saturdays off....hmmmm....and Third Series brings joy to the few people I know who practice it, and I am sure that if it were up to the "family" (sounds a bit like the mob, no?) none of them would have been taught past halfway through Second Series. Why? BECAUSE.

Just because.

And that's not a good enough answer for me.

I'm pissed. Can you tell?

boodiba said...

I never believed all the crap about practicing during your period being bad for you. Some women have heavy flows that make them uncomfortable, sure. In my own case, the PMS portion of the experience is FAR more debilitating. I sleep less and everything sucks more.

Yoga Chickie said...

it's not like anyone said "it's for your own good that you not practice when you're menstruating". if they did, that would be one thing. instead, it's a "don't be bringing in your dirty thang to my holy room" thing.

ungrateful men. that's how i see it.

boodiba said...

Oh well I suppose it's a "get your dirty coochie" out of here rationale in India. But I've heard a lot of people being advised by teachers here that it's not good for you.

Living is not good for you. Causes a certain amount of heartache & death every single time!

I'm feeling grumpy today too but it has nothing to do with the AYRI antics. I'm just a cranky bitch.

Yoga Chickie said...

me too. way cranky. not sure how to decranky myself. practice? eh. not sure about it. still have a little while before the notion of practice becomes moot.

boodiba said...

Does the shala up there have any afternoon Mysore style?

Ya... grumpy / cranky. I don't think there is any hope for my disposition today. The best I can do is try to protect others from The Wrath of The Dissatisfied (which is me of course).

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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