I think one of the worst qualities a teacher
can have is an exaggerated sense of his or
her level of spiritual attainment. Yogic pride
is said to be one of the most difficult things
to overcome. What I especially like about
therapeutic yoga teachers Kate Holcombe
and Jnani Chapman is that they are real; they
know who they are.
None of us is without shadow. Every human being is a weave of light and shadow.
Knowing that is of great assistance in nourishing one of the greatest virtues, which is
simple humility. Humility, honesty, actually
caring—those seem to me to be three good
How do you incorporate yoga into your
My yoga and contemplative practice needs a
lot of work right now. There were years when
I practiced at least an hour a day. I truly hope
to build my practice back up, but that isn’t
the deepest impact yoga has had on me. My
life was affected at a time of crisis in 1982
when I discovered Swami Satchidananda’s
Integral Yoga. Integral Yoga has provided
an accessible entry point to the great traditions of yoga for thousands of people around
the world. The parallels between Satchidananda’s Integral Yoga and Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga have struck many observers.
What has been most important to me are the
core spiritual and philosophical teachings
of yoga in the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. The three great yogas of the Gita:
Bhakti, Jnana, and Karma Yoga—the work
of the heart, the head and the hands—
resonate down through the ages in all the great
Love, wisdom, and will. Bhakti, Jnana and
Karma yoga. The work of our hearts, our
heads, and our hands. These are the eternal
instruments that human beings have been given. It is through love, wisdom, and will that
we create meaning in our lives and discover
ourselves and our vocations.
IAYT is celebrating its 25th anniversary
at the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and
Research (SYTAR 2014) in Austin, Texas,
June 5-8, 2014. Sytar.org
Rita Trieger is the former editor-in-chief of Fit Yoga magazine,
and the author of Yoga Heals Your Back (Fairwinds, 2005).
She teaches yoga therapy for both cancer and heart
patients at Stamford Hospital, in Stamford Connecticut.