Thousands of years old, yoga is an ancient teaching of right relation between mind and body, self and world. Today yoga enthusiasts proliferate worldwide, a movement paradoxically fed by its commodification as a fitness or new-age wellness program. At the root of the many faces of contemporary yoga, however, is a wisdom tradition that has nothing to do with what kind of clothes you wear, or how good you look in them as you stretch your pants into otherworldly poses. At the root of yoga is a coherent philosophy that yoga teachers (such as those whose training is accredited by the Yoga Alliance) have at least some familiarity with, and that is embodied in the Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras form the conceptual framework for a coherent philosophy of life, relationship, wellness, and learning.

Over the next six months I will keep a blog on why I am becoming a yoga teacher at Yoga North, in Duluth Minnesota.

As many people have asked me why I, a “successful” middle-aged academic, am getting certified to teach yoga, I feel compelled to put the question to myself and to follow, through the process of writing as inquiry, where question and response take me. I trust in this process.

Working for change is all about relationship. This is what I learned in the 1990s from my mentor Michael Morris, a community activist/leader and reluctant academic who created change in multiple communities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I did my graduate work. I keep a framed photo of Michael in the office of the Centre for Place and Sustainability Studies. He is standing in the street with a wide smile and an aging body full of energy. He is holding a protest sign.



    David Greenwood is the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Education,
    Director of the Centre for Place and Sustainability Studies, and Associate Professor in the 
    Faculty of Education at Lakehead University.


    November 2013