Ravi Singh is a celebrated Kundalini Teacher and the author (with life partner Ana Brett) of several Kundalini books, including: The Kundalini Yoga Book—Life in the Vast Lane. Ana and Ravi have also authored many best-selling DVD’s and streams. Ravi Singh is a co-founder of Yoga Unify.
Yoga tradition, like all human knowledge, is based on generalization, the patterns that have emerged from the writings and relatings of a diverse group of experiencers. Knowledge becomes wisdom when we zoom in and apply written or transmissible knowledge to the touchstone of our own deeply personal process.
What yogis have discovered is that there are laws, cycles, and recurring dramas that underlie our human strivings and aspirations. The dance of the universal and deeply personal is the double helix that is woven through all yoga in honor of Life Itself. Out of the personal dramas of individual yogis, commonalities of experience have emerged and have been memorialized into methods. These methods represent the ‘greatest hits’ of the Saints and Sages of the Ages.
Yogis have developed many techniques and technologies to heal, expand, grow, and know. These are informed by abiding truths relative to inhabiting a body. A most basic constant in yoga is conscious breathing. Scientists of spirit (yogis) have verified over time that body follows mind and mind follows breath. Yogis have always revered conscious breathing as a vehicle for growth, rejuvenation, healing, and as a springboard into the subtle realms.
Ultimately, yoga is the attempt to try to approach the formless through the world of form. For instance the mantra Om Shanti exemplifies this dualism. Om represents the absolute and Shanti (peace) is the experience of that.
In mainstream science, tightly controlled studies are the hallmark for a provable hypothesis. While evidence-based data is typically unequivocal, yoga tradition has demonstrated that the intuitive, the anecdotal, and the miraculous must be given equal consideration. Experiences that emanate from a committed practice are best described poetically. For instance the secretion of the pineal gland is described in ancient writings as, “the cup of the moon turning over.”
As Yoga Unify crystallizes our offerings—including assessment of teachers into Qualification levels, leading the profession back to emphasis on transmission over transaction; education over certification—we are assessing a yoga teacher’s level of competency as both a right and left brain proposition. We want to not only assess their competency as a teacher with regard to foundational knowledge—able to be explained systematically and clearly—we also seek to integrate their personal experience of the practice, and evaluate how this will aid them in sharing the practice with students.
In scientific terms, the left brain represents form: The use of lucid language; or, in yoga, the ability to convey real time prompts in order to teach a safe and effective class. Conversely, the right brain represents emotional intelligence and abstract concepts that inform one’s path. In yoga, this shows up not only as the ability to provide a safe space for students, but also to embody the teachings and to infuse one’s teaching with heart (and art) and soul; to understand abiding truths through the lens of one’s life.
For a yoga Teacher knowledge of contraindications, and other brass tack basics is key. Wisdom is also essential. It entails the willingness to remain teachable, to strive to live a life congruent with the Teachings, to be open and available to those we serve. To be a conscious conduit.
The benchmarks we arrive at for qualifications will most certainly be informed by the uniqueness of personal experience as well as professional standards. What makes yoga yoga is the dialectic between soul and body. And this integration of the wisdom of experience with foundational, measurable knowledge, is a driving force in the Yoga Unify vision and mission.
Do you want to be a part of creating a more unified, united yoga community? Join the Yoga Unify Founding Circle to share your ideas and let your voice be heard.