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Basically Yoga

By Randall Buskirk

THU OCT 07, 2021

My classes might be considered Basic Yoga classes. Another title for them might be "Basically, Yoga."

To elaborate, here's a little guide for the perplexed.

The goal--or my goal, anyway--in class is not for you just to stretch or sweat or to get stronger but to become more conscious. (Your goal is yours.)

By conscious, I'm thinking more in terms of knowing what we are doing and why. More awareness of the unconscious, whatever that might mean. And getting more of what I am calling "head room." More bandwidth. More going on in the frontal cortex area for decision making and creativity. More good stuff going on in the brain stem so decisions and actions are based on better information. Energy, relaxation, focus and vision.

How do we do that? Well, we might stretch! But also any class could include some of these practices or topics, along with Asana:

Breathing exercises
Joint mobilization (all the joints)
Nerve glides
Eye exercises
Vestibular exercises
More vestibular exercises
Coordination exercises
Goofy walks
"Functional" movement
Playful movement
Exploratory movement
Topics from history (yoga or otherwise)
Mythology, mudra, mantra
Art, music
Pain science
Emotions (not from traditional models because I don't think they are very helpful)
Occasional handouts, book recommendations

To me, all these topics fit together under the rubric of "yoga." They are practices to get to the root of things and help you grow from there. To become better resourced and more resourceful.

I kinda specialize in being a generalist. You are a generalist too, specializing in being yourself.

Ultimately, as our teacher said, there is only one teaching. Love your life. Live long and prosper. I hope what I teach in class is one way of helping you do that.