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(Nice to see Eric quoted here - GREAT teacher!) Yoga is all about the practice, not about who did what as far as I'm concerned. If a teacher (as one would expect, and as people are in most walks of life) is an amalgamation of the teachers they've had or studied with, who cares? If it creates 'their' structure in a class then all the better. I've yet to come across a teacher that I've really enjoyed who hasn't willingly discussed what they've learned from others. A lot of times they'll mention it during the pose without having been asked.

Natasha Salmon Cogno

Ha! Since when we own the teaching of Yoga? Picasso, who changed the art world with his different styles of painting, was a champion in borrowing from the great masters; and, this, made the difference. When we approach the teaching of Yoga as a "business", we become territorial. When you teach from your heart, it doesn't matter who you borrow from, as long as you are benefiting the students. There is a great article in YJ, June 2011 issue, in which Patricia Walden, Sean Corn,and, Cathryn Budig discuss the issue of sharing your Yoga Knowledge. One example: I read most of Sally Kempton articles. I really learn a lot from them. A few months ago, she published a great article on how to manage change in your life. I used her article to create and teach a two week session. I emailed her letting her know I was so inspired by her article, that it compelled me to share this with my students. She answered she was thrilled I had been able to do that. That's a real Yoga Teacher! BTW, during a YJ Conference I heard Cyndi Lee saying "I don't teach what I know, I teach what you don't know". In these two articles you include a similar quote. Who is the creator of this phrase?


I agree with Rebecca -- this is silly. And teachers who try to formally patent or informally "control" their teachings are confused. The teachings are an amazing abundance to be shared, which in my 21-years experience I've seen teachers do with gratitude and respect. If there is an amazing teacher who sythesizes teachings to create a "new" form, that's exciting....and I'd hope they'd be secure and generous enough to want others to share it -- freely.


In addition to teaching the occasional yoga class, I am a licensed elementary school teacher. As I learned how to teach school, I was taught that the best teachers are the best thieves. This seems to be no different in the yoga studio. Teachers incorporate helpful/fun asanas and sequences they have learned in other classes into their own. It's a natural process for a teacher of ANYTHING. As long as a teacher gives credit where credit is due, I don't see the problem with artful theft...


This is just silly. Of course we're going to to share poses and ideas. The spread of information is what drives progress in any field, including yoga! I love telling my students I'm off to take a workshop with so-and-so, and I'll bring back a bunch of juicy new stuff to incorporate into their practice. Does any yoga teacher NOT do this?!?


Funny how John Friend has a problem with others using his Anusara principles of alignment when he wasn't the one who discovered them. The universal principles of alignment that he preaches are the work of BKS Iyengar, and I am not sure that John Friend always makes that clear.


Ironic much that all the people in this article are Americans who borrowed everything they know in the first place? How "kind" of them to share what was never theirs.

And what exactly did John Friend invent anyway? His yoga is weak Iyengar with all the anatomical terms watered down into "spirals" and that "heart-energy" and any other thing that doesn't actually mean anything but makes all the MILFs feel good about themselves.. He's a business man, nothing more.

Lisa Goldstein

yes, I do try to credit all the inspirational quotes I bring into class, and say things like, Oh, I learned something from this teacher I would like to share with you, and so on. This is to be considerate of the source of my teachings, but, truthfully, there's nothing new under the sun. I am simply passing on good information handed down through generations. The teachers who get offendedthat you "steal" their themes, phrases, etc. are holding on too tight to something that is for everyone to share


Right on James
much of the staff we call "yoga", beyond sun salutation,
is 18-19 century creations and the rest is made up in 20 cent.
Nice legend though


All of yoga is borrrowed/learned from others and should be used by everyone. I think insecure or money based teachers would be concerned that someone borrowed ideas for yoga class from them. The idea is to share!

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