Mark Whitwell has done us a favor by summarizing in 108 pages the essence of his teaching. It is an easy and powerful read with good photographic instruction to be used in conjunction with the iPromise app. It is a tidy summary of his two previous works Yoga of Heart, and The Promise of Love, Sex and Intimacy.
The Promise is an interwoven promise. If you will do this short and easy practice each day, Mark promises you optimal health, love and sex. Its a very good deal! Mark gathered this wisdom over a life time of study with remarkable teachers, T. K. V. Desikachar and his scholarly father Professor T. Krishnamacharya, the founder of modern yoga and the “teacher of the teachers,” most notably B. K.S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois.
Underpinning the dialog is the great U. G. Krishnamurti, their dear friend who Krishnamacharya called “the greatest living yogi I ever met.” Affectionately known as UG, he held Krishnamacharya to the fire of his own teaching; that is, yoga must be adapted to the individual, not the individual to the yoga. Each person’s body type, age, health and cultural background must all be taken into account. Then it is not a struggle for a future result, but direct intimacy with reality itself that is a nurturing enlivening power, pure intelligence and beauty. And that is what we REALLY want!
You ARE this cosmos arising as power, pure intelligence and utter beauty, and Mark says, “That is just a fact to be sincerely understood. It is not a spiritual statement of mere poetic hopefulness. You can relax now and be who you really are.”
Mark is a modern-day bridge from these great teachers direct to you. He asserts that the principles brought forth from the great tradition by Krishnamacharya need to be included in the popular styles that all derived from him. It makes the yoga that we know and love entirely our own, efficient, powerful and safe. If you are a beginner you have stuck gold because here is how you do a practice that is right for you that really is yoga.
Mark runs a course “Advanced Yoga for Perfect Beginners!” and here it is. “Yoga is simply to participate in the union of opposites by which the source of opposites is revealed. Strength Receiving in your inner male-female polarity allows for Strength Receiving in the outer polarity with another. In the traditions of God realization or enlightenment there is no way to bypass this responsibility. Although many have tried, this created the social dysfunction of the perfect male female collaboration of Life. This yoga will fix that, I promise!
It is also important to understand that the guru is no more than a friend, and no less than a friend. The guru is not a social identity of even a personal identity. The guru is a function. A function of nature. Of nurturing. We must restore the function of guru in local community that has been distorted in recent decades by using the concept of guru as a power mechanism and personal identity. “It is my intention to fix that too!,”
~Mark Whitwell, Founder of Heart of Yoga
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