“Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.” —B. K. S. Iyengar
There are many things that keeps me grounded in sanity in today’s increasingly insane world. Time in nature, time with like-hearted community, creative expression, service to the Earth, and the physical movement of swimming, cycling, kayaking and hiking are lifelines to my soul. The main philosophy that encompasses all of this for me, is yoga. Although I confess to an irregular asana practice, I live the essence of yoga on a daily basis through my conscious choices, intentional actions and deep connection to ahimsa. As is the case with most of us however, I’m an ongoing work in progress with some days better than others. The bottom line for me though, is an aspiration and a hunger to live as close to my essence as possible at every given moment.
This week’s guest is no different in his hunger for “better”. Maurice McCann is a devoted yogi living on the Gold Coast of Australia where he practices and teaches the yogic philosophy of B.K.S. Iyengar, otherwise known as the Iyengar method. If you’re familiar with the physical aspect of yoga, you’re most likely familiar with the practice of Hatha, which is taught in most mainstream yoga centers.
Although the Iyengar method is yoga in the traditional sense, Iyengar asana differs in that it emphasizes precision and alignment in all postures. Because of this, the Iyengar method relies heavily on the use of props such as wooden gadgets, blocks, pillows and cushions, chairs, belts ropes and other props to aid the body in proper alignment. Although my experience with the Iyengar method is limited, what strikes me the most is how we place limits on our mobility, but with the proper use of props, those limitations can quickly dissolve. This can then facilitate greater self confidence.
My conversation this week with Maurice delves into a deeper explanation of what Iyengar yoga is all about … and so much more.
This week we explore:
- Yoga as a connection to spirituality.
- How disembodied we are as a culture and how this contributes to our disconnect from the Earth and ourselves.
- How yoga brings us back into an embodied state.
- How the best teachers are also the best students.
- How yoga fills us from the inside out.
- What is the Iyengar yoga method?
- How asana can be a gateway into the deeper philosophy of yoga.
- What is yoga?
- The commoditization of yoga.
- A conversation about ahimsa and how it relates to body acceptance.
- Personal growth through yoga.
- How yoga can expand our compassion and kindness and connect us to our deepest essence.
One of the many things that struck me about Maurice is his gentle joy. You can easily hear it in his voice as we chat. He exudes tremendous passion for his chosen work as a yoga instructor after leaving a high paying corporate position at a mining company—a profound paradigm shift!
Maurice has been on the yoga path long before it was cool, so he not only practices it, he lives it, and today’s conversation delves deeply into what it is to live yoga and practice life.
Without further adieu, I give to you my conversation with passionate yogi from down under, Maurice McCann.
NOTE: Maurice is putting on a yoga retreat in Bali from June 13-25. If you live in that part of the world or you’re into last minute adventure, you can find out more at this link.
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