One thought on “David Swenson on the early years in Mysore”

  1. I completely agree with this. And I’m very happy that somebody who has been practicing for decades and who was taught directly by Guruji is saying this. If somebody like me would express this opinion, I would perhaps be seen as ‘part of the problem’ in the yoga world. I think that there is no much we can do to stop the commercialisation of anything, I think such attitude would just make me frustrated and bitter. What seems to me more useful is to instead use my energy to try to participate and direct how is it going to happen, no whether it should happen or not, since for the time being that seems unfortunately out of our hands.
    I would also like to add that it really closes the conversation when a yoga teachers has the attitude that everything in the past was better, or the “early days” were better (and I started more than 10 years ago). It also closes the conversation for me when they go on and on on how “most people” aren’t even doing yoga, just because we don’t leave our jobs, memorise the Yoga Sutras and the Gita and decide to make yoga (asana) our source of everything (money, career, etc) doesn’t mean we are not doing yoga, or “the real thing” or a lesser thing. Everyone has to start somewhere.
    I see and have the same fears that most yoga teachers, that the teaching will be lost, or misinterpreted, or water down. That the ways will disappear, the knowledge, the wisdom… I highly respect, cherish and thank daily every teacher I have ever had, and the chain of humans that for hundreds of years practiced and passed on the knowledge, so that I could have access to this today. I see all that, I respect all that, I love all that, it has made me the best version of myself so far. But I have also seen that it takes a while, a long while for most people, to incorporate a daily practice, to find the right method, to start to unlock the locks in our bodies/minds…
    But we have to start somewhere, and we may fail, or grow out of a studio or method or teacher, but hopefully we will move on and keep trying. But hearing from the most experienced teachers and people that our practice is lesser, or wrong, or shallow, is not very encouraging or inspiring. In fact it can become one more thing we need to swim against.
    I do understand we have to make sure the real thing gets out there, and that better parameters must eventually emerge, of what is the minimally acceptable requirements for somebody to be called a yoga teacher. I can clearly see that a 200-500 hours certification is nothing, nothing. I have been practicing more than ten years and only now, I feel like I may have a very little tiny bit to teach to a beginner, and only because I have more self-knowledge and self-understanding, so I can share my mind and body as a map to help others navigate their own, perhaps, and only a tiny bit. Yet I guess a lot of people teach after a month or two of training. And yeah, it makes me sad and even a bit scared. But in my case, is only after years that I know better, and I can chose better, but it took me years to get to this point, many years.
    Now my practice is going fast and incredibly good, and I feel I have found what works for me, -for now, and so I can just throw myself to the practice and come back strong, anew, happy, ready. I think for the first time in my life I have something that people call ‘faith’, maybe, I think. And is nice. Is this complete trust, to let myself be in the world, knowing I will be alright, and even happy… And I only got to this point after many schools, and methods and teachers, and probably many of them were not as prepared as the teachers I now seek (although even in the early years I did look for teachers with a lineage’s permission to teach, and with years of practice, whenever available).
    Anyway, my point is I’m thankful for all the times I practiced, even when I wasn’t “really doing yoga”. Whatever it was, it has brought me here, and I’m thankful. So I guess for some people is not an easy or straight-forward path, although maybe for some it is, but I think for the majority, the beginning will look very similar: a studio, a teacher, a numb body at best. Hopefully, we will all feel encouraged and motivated to keep trying, growing, experimenting, wherever we happen to be in our practice. And hopefully the good teachers, the ones with the experience and wisdom and blessings, will be an inspiring, motivating and steering voice we can recognise, trust and follow, to help us explore and even reach our innermost part.
    Thank you for sharing this video!

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