It's All Just a Map: Traversing the Inner Landscape

April 26, 2019

Dear Yoga Teachers,

I was listening to one of J. Brown's Yoga Talkspodcasts the other day.  He was hosting Bernie Clark and Peter Blakaby.  They were engaged in a very friendly debate about the purpose of yoga and spending time trying to refine their respective points of view. Bernie Clark teaches from the map of yin yoga and comes from the view that we have to work the tissues to affect change in our movement patterns.  Peter Blakaby teaches from the map that our patterns are ingrained in our nervous system and that we need to provide space and comfort for the body to impact change in our movement patterns.  

I realized I was hoping for a more definitive answer as to which map provided the greatest amount benefit.  Then it dawned on me, that it doesn't really matter.  In the end, I suspect we will get to the same place no matter which map we use to guide us.  Some yoga teachers will feel more comfortable with the western map of anatomy, some teachers will feel called to the subtle body map, while others will use alignment and biomechanics and still others will rely on sensory map.  


I'm in the process of planning a solo pilgrimage to France next month. In my process of planning I checked out two different guidebooks about France.  I was looking for information on a specific seaside town that I had read about online.  The Lonely Planet didn't have any information about this place, but the Rick Steves guidebook did.  If I just relied on the Lonely Planet guide, I would have completely missed out on learning about this less touristy destination.  


My point is that we can use and should try to use a combination of maps when we teach.  In this way, we will make an attempt to appease and appeal to the majority of students who come to our classes.  Find the map that points you in the direction of where you want to go.  Then through your own kinesthetic awareness will you be able to distinguish landmarks as they arise according to your guidebook. Be sure to not disparage other maps, just because they don't contain the places that you want to go.  There is a map for everyone!



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