Novelty

It truly is a joy to teach yoga. A longtime yoga attendee Julie often let me know after the class how much she appreciated my skills and artistry. Julie attended the first class I ever taught at the Avalon studio in April of 2007. She claimed to never had an exact same sequence and could always find a new pose or a new way of doing the familiar poses in each of my classes. This is the same message I get from several of the longtime participants. Novelty is a new scene, sensation or condition. What's new for me maybe old for you. Many western yogis love learning in India. I grew up in the east and prefer to learn yoga here in the west. I find inspirations in the great western minds such as that of Da Vinci's seven principles which mirrors the yogic principles. Though, the reasoning is the same the explanations and applications deviate, hence offering me novelties.

There is a novel center in the human midbrain. It is highly functional, apparently, in my brain and in those who come to my classes. According to the psychology professor Sandi Mann, the "novel centre" lights up whenever we see or experience something new, resulting in a surge of the pleasure chemical dopamine. When creating novelties, I rely on the foundation I've already built. Each class is an extension of the last class with a varying landscape but the same continuous journey. They are individually unique pearls strung up into one unified circle. It is not unlike building a memory. Rhymes or storylines are the best way to memorize because memories are continuous rhythmic flow. in this way, I always learn from the past while progressing into the future.

Some of us prefer to teach or practice Ashtanga yoga or Iyengar as opposed to a free flow form because we perceive novelties differently. The argument that one style is better than the others is alogical since we don't have the same body type, personality or perception. We need both internal and external novelty to find a unique balance for our own contentment. Seeking it primarily externally through something or someone disconnects us from the rich intuition, curiosity and creativity. Seeking it primarily internally through self-focus disciplines disconnects us from the inspiration of the current global and local events and relationships. We seek what we believe to be lacking so as to continue evolving. Novelty is our potentiality. Real life is not a zero-sum gain. Without the balance of the internal and external novelty it is a lose-lose game.