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Connecting with the past

When I first started practicing yoga, I assumed it was an ancient form of movement practice, and some of it is, but much of the asana or physical postures we practice today came out of work at the Palace of Mysore in the early to mid 20th Century. I was reminded this week of the importance of 'lineage' in yoga when I had the opportunity to work with Canadian teacher Monica Voss at a lovely workshop in Brighton. Monica was a pupil of Vanda Scaravelli (the type of yoga I practice is known as Scaravelli inspired yoga and grew out of work Scaravelli did after working with BKS Iyengar). As time goes on, the number of pupils who are still practicing diminishes and the work of those pupils moves the practice on further. I have real concerns about 'gurus' who are slavishly followed (the example of the controversy that surrounded the founder of 'hot' yoga, Bikram Choudhury is a reminder that we need to hold our gurus and leaders to the same high standards we hold ourselves to), but there is something quite lovely to feel that connection to the history of my practice by working with someone who has practiced with Vanda Scaravelli who in turn learned yoga from Iyengar!

The Palace of Mysore

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