What is in a name...
Whenever one names something, people start asking, "What does that
mean?". The first name I gave to my style and school of teaching was a
loan from my training school: Shakti Yoga. Shakti is the expression of
the devine feminine that exists in all of us (male or female). It is
the flow, dance, and spark of energy that animates all of life. I
connected immediately with this idea, and could not think of any better
way to express it. So I lived with that name for a while. But people
were constantly asking me what it meant, and it seemed confusing. It is
also linked to the Tantra practice, and I received a few very strange
phone calls from people thinking I offered Tantric practices. So I
thought it would be better to find a different name instead of
continuing to borrow my teachers name.
So there were many forms and ideas of the name, and moments of "why do I
need a name anyway!". There is a tiny rebel streak in me. I don't
like to conform, so maybe I could be the yogi formerly known as... or
the unnamed... but that didn't last long. I could just use my own name,
and have been in that state for a while. When designing the Yoga
Teacher Training program, I knew there was an idea that would be
important for me. There is a line in the Tao Te Ching- in reference to
the Tao being expressed by the "Myriad Forms". This idea always
inspired me. Myriad means: countless, or of an extremely great number.
I have always said that there are as many styles of yoga as there are
teachers and practitioners. That we each bring our own unique
expression to the practice. Each pose, each movement, each breath
becomes one of the many beads on the string of the practice of yoga. So
there are Myriad forms of yoga. But these are really all just
expressions of the one. So it becomes a bit of a paradox. That there
are many countless forms and expressions, but these are expressions of
Oneness. You can think of it this way: There is one "you". But "you"
may be a mother or father, an aunt or uncle, a son or daughter, a
cousin, a husband or wife, a friend, etc... there are many relationships
and versions of you. But the "you" doesn't change. The unchanging
part of the "Myriad" one might call "God" or "spirit" or whatever suits
you best. The Myriad expressions point to the unchanging part.
When we practice yoga, each day it changes. Today we feel open and alive. Tomorrow
perhaps we are more tired and slow. And this changes further, from
person to person. In our teacher training, I emphasize that there is no
one correct alignment for a posture. No one right way to practice and
many possibilities to explore. This can seem overwhelming to those who
need to "know the answers". Or it could be completely liberating,
depending on your outlook. In the Kirtan practice, we chant the many
names of the divine. Again, the myriad expressions. But again, its
essence is just one. Like the Inuit tribes that have many different
words for snow, its all still snow. The words describe different
expressions of the same substance. So the word "myriad" expresses a
truth. The truth of oneness behind the many forms.
When you practice with us, myself and the teachers who have trained at
Myriad Yoga, you will be honoring your own needs and aligning with your
inner truth. There will be no worrying about your pose looking like a
textbook, or even trying to get into the pose in the "one right way"
because there is no such thing. We will always look to the
possibilities and help you to explore your own willingness and curiosity
to move body, breath, and mind with strength and integrity in the
spirit space around and within.