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Yoga means Union...right?
by Dana Layon, ERYT

Ok - I know that yoga means union; Om is the sound of Oneness; when we practice we release judgment and expectation; and all yoga styles are born on the same principle of uniting with the Divinity within. Am I missing anything?

Why then am I seeing so much division between styles and lineages? What do I mean you ask? Why can't Bikram Yoga and Anusara Yoga be housed under the same roof? And why can't we do Vinyasa and Iyengar in the same facility? I would LOVE to do Bikram two days, Vinyasa two days, Iyengar one day, Kundalini another and Anusara another. WOW what a dynamic week that would be!

Am I missing something? Am I crossing an imaginary line that makes even the most heart-opened yogi cringe? Are there places in the United States that DO this? Offer various styles under one roof? PLEASE tell me where they are! Those individuals are on it!

I understand that some teachers are adamant that their style is the BEST style but why? Doesn't that go against the creed of yoga? That we are all One? How can we, as yogis say, "Oh you have been doing that style - forget it. This is the only style you will ever need."

I started with Iyengar; teach Vinyasa and have been practicing Anusara. I tried Kundalini...wow - what an amazing class that was!

As some of you know, I recently began taking Bikram Yoga classes, aka Hot Yoga. I love it! I love what it does for my mind, my body and my spirit. I have never felt such dedication and commitment to any practice or fitness regime in my life! But I LOVE and miss the creativity that Vinyasa brings me. Can't I do both?

I did some research about Bikram: read one of his books and Googled him on the Internet. Interesting guy. I agree with a lot of what he says but there is also a lot I don't agree with. Does that mean I can't do his practice? No. Does that mean that I have to stop teaching Vinyasa or practicing Anusara with Melonie? No.

It means I have now walked the talk of yogis all across the nation. We are One.

It's disinheriting to witness some yoga practitioners "defending" their yoga practices as if it were a religion. No wonder some people won't try yoga, they think it goes against their religion! Yoga is NOT a religion...remember?

Religious disagreements sure create a bit of global havoc, don't you agree? Do we really want to separate yoga styles too? I thought yoga was about peace and harmony and unity? Why should we have to pick one over the other?

From what I am learning, all yoga styles have the same underlying principle....to create Oneness with the Divinity within - they each just have various ways of getting there. What is wrong with that?

So for you yogis out there, please enlighten me on this subject. I truly would like to know if I am the only one out there missing some important message in the art and science of yoga.

And for all you people out there who have not practiced yoga yet.....

It's NOT a religion! If you have tried it and didn't like the style you tried, try a different one! You will LOVE yoga... It is seriously the BEST thing for the body, mind and spirit!

Om shanti, shanti, shanti


Copyright © 2009, Dana Layon. All rights reserved. No part of this program, manual or book may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means electronically, mechanically or other means without express, written permission from the publisher.


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About the Author


Dana Layon, E-RYT, began practicing Iyengar Yoga in 1997 and then Prenatal Yoga during her first pregnancy in 2002. In 2003, she was introduced to Vinyasa “Flow” Yoga, a westernized style of yoga guiding movement with breath. She has never gone back to traditional exercise because of the overall benefits she realizes with a dedicated yoga practice.


Currently her main program is her Zen Flow Yoga School nationally accredited with the Yoga Alliance. The school offers a 10 month program that educates aspiring teachers how to help others realize all the benefits of yoga. The course includes teaching methodology and technique, postural alignment, yogic philosophy, anatomy and the business of teaching yoga.


Dana is also available to speak on a myriad of wellness topics including Finding Your Passion In Life; Benefits of Meditation; Living Your Optimal Life; Making Time for Your Health; Live Long and Light: do YOGA. She currently holds monthly, life transforming, educational workshops in Vancouver, Washington and is available for speaking engagements nationwide. See the Workshops page of her site for more information.


She leads Spiritual Warrior Retreats twice a year – geared toward women empowerment and unity.


She teaches Zen Flow 5 times per week; prenatal classes once a week and kids yoga twice a week, offering yoga and life virtues to children ages 3-10.


Her books, Surviving the Human Experience with Spiritual Intention and Om (AUM) will both be published by November 2010.


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