Olga Oskorbina holds up a pencil. „What is this?“ – „A pencil“, the crowd answers. „Right! But what is it for a dog?“ – „A stick. A toy. Something to chew on.“ By this simple demonstration Olga explained what Yoga Sutra IV.15 really means:
VASTU-SĀMYE CITTA-BHEDĀT TAYOR VIBHAKTAḤ PANTHĀḤ
„Each individual person perceives the same object in a different way, according to their own state of mind and projections. Everything is empty from its won side and appears according to how you see it.“
Intergrating yoga philosophy into every single class, chanting the Yoga Sutra and other sacred chants and giving a dharma talk to help the students understand the teachings and suggest a connection to modern life – this is what is so special about Jivamukti Yoga. It’s actually part of the five tenants this method is based on: Shastra (study of the ancient scriptures) and Nada (Music). Ahimsa (non-violence), Bhakti (devotion) and Dhyana (meditation) being the other three.
What might feel strange for Jiva-newbies at first gets tangible during the asana practice. After a juicy vinyasa sequence that left no shirt dry Olga lets us be the stick she was showing us at the beginning of class. In groups of two and three we work on different ways to come into forearmstand and handstand. Or is it just an inverted Tadasana? A tree? A tool to become aware of our ego? It all depends on the perspective!