The other day I was listening to a pre-recorded session from The Yoga Teacher Telesummit (which has been life-changing, by the way) with Mark Singleton, author of Yoga Body- Origins Posture Practice and thinking about the saying “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Actually I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and my life has pretty much revolved around that idea for the last few years.
My interest in continuing education has really blown up the last several months and I’ve found myself inundated with endless prospects of online learning– telecourses in becoming a better teacher, in becoming a better writer, in making more money. Thanks to the internet, the world has never seemed more like a never-ending hole of knowledge. I’ve only barely begun to scratch the surface in yoga and then when it comes to writing, even after finishing 2 novels, there’s still so much to learn about plot and characterization. It’s exciting but also exhausting. It points to the bigger issue, though—that there’s always more to learn and I don’t know what I don’t know.
Sometimes when practicing yoga and writing fiction, we forget how large the world is outside of our own bodies and minds. Mark spoke about yoga’s history through the ages and across cultures and brought up questions that reminded me the universe is so big, bigger than we can imagine. He also gave tiny glimpses into Huge, Lifetime-Asking Questions like, “what is yoga?” and “Is yoga a religion?” —Which is sort of like asking “what is art?” We can spend our lifetimes studying and never quite figure out those answers.
Then there’s the enormity of information on the inside— the concept of svadhyaya (or self-study) in yoga philosophy. This was made abundantly clear to me this past weekend, when I attended a Brand Thyself workshop with Jessica Boylston-Fagonde. Jess guided us to the core of ourselves, to unearth our unique personal expression so we can take our mission out into the world. Let me tell you, there’s a ton of stuff inside us! She titled her online course “An Archeological Dig To The Heart” for that reason. The digging process can seem endless. After all, the question of who we are is just like the question of what is yoga or what is art. I wonder if the answer is the same.