I spent a month in Wolverhampton last week.
Well, that’s the way it felt anyway.
My visit, in fact, onlylasted eight hours, but the reason it felt much longer had nothing to do with the town itself.
Wolverhampton seemed nice enough, andif you are into English football, you may know the local team just won promotion back up to the Premier League next season.
Unfortunately, I didn’t drive there to wander around or watch Wolves play. I went to attend a conference.
It was called, “The Future of Yoga,” and there were speakers from several different associations around Europe, but, as I discovered, some of them don’tget along well.
I’d been told the point of the daywas for like-minded people to come together and benefit from each other’s experiences and visions.
Most of the participants, however, did not appear to be open to new ideas, so I don’t think that happened.Many seemed to believe they already hadthe answers and they wanted everyone elseto be more like them.
The thing is, I didn’t warm to many of them, so I’m going to pass on that one.
Am I moaning more than usual?
Yeah, I think so too. Maybe that’s because I believe it is important for us to do things that allow us to slow down so we can understand ourselves better, and I think practicing yoga can do that, so I expected more from the gathering.
Or maybe I’m just pissed-off about being ignored.
Several speakers talked about the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga postures and many stressed the importance of relaxing into a meditation at the end of a routine.
So,I stood up and asked if the asanas, which is what the yogis call their postures, were a prop that help people meditate and if there were any other activities that could have the same effect.
Fly-fishing, archery, playing the guitar and playing sports without worrying about the results have all helped me to calm my mind. I have also heard others say dancing, painting and other arts havethe same effect.
There were several raised eyebrows, but none of the speakers responded to my question about the postures being an aid to meditation, and the second bit was dismissed with, “We are here to talk about yoga.”
Not very helpful and,in my opinion, rathernarrow-minded… but maybe I’m doing the same thing hereas I look back on the day.
I’m interested in yoga, but I wouldn’t have made that four-hour round trip just to hear people speak about it.
I went with a woman who is training to become an instructor becauseI wanted to make the course requirement a bit more enjoyable for her.
Some yoga authorities would arguedoing things like that ismore important than sitting on a mat, so perhaps,at the end of the day, or should say month, everything worked out just fine.
Of course, I still wish those posers at the conference could be more like I am… although that might mean I’m more like them than I would like to admit.
Hum… perhaps I should meditate on that.