Saturday, November 3, 2012

Inventive vs. Innovative Thinking, the Yogic Perspective

In his latest book, Light on Life, master yoga teacher B. K. S. Iyengar poses the idea that the intelligent yogi seeks innovation - the inspired choice of something totally new. He states that "all people are clever compared to other forms of life", but being clever and inventing new ways to do the same thing over and over isn't enough to liberate us from suffering.

He goes on to say about the yogi's intelligence:
"It can choose. It can choose to perform an action that is new, that is innovative. It can initiate change. It can decide to jump out of the ruts in which we are all stuck and strike out on a path for its own evolution. Intelligence does not chat. It is the quiet, determined, clear-eyed revolutionary of our consciousness. Intelligence is the silent or sleeping partner in consciousness, but when it awakes it is the senior or dominant partner."
Fo me, this year has been about living consciously, about waking this intelligence. Ten months before I picked up Mr. Iyengar's book, I was struck by the thought that it was time I befriended, tamed and trained my mind. My first step towards this goal was to pay attention to my thoughts, which supported the reflexive quality of my mind. The second step was honoring the ability to choose. That sounds simple, but it is by no means easy. We all have the ability to choose: we either choose creative invention towards the same end, or we step out of the rut and innovate a new end.


  • Tuesday, Nov 6: please go out and VOTE! Then, bring your proof of voting to a nearby yoga studio, because many of them offer free classes for those who vote.
  • Saturday, Nov 10 1:00-4:00 pm: there is still room in the Winter Wellness Workshop at Willow Glen Yoga. See Special Events for more details.
  • Friday, Nov 16: Lymphedema presentation offered by Cancer CAREpoints, located near Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose; see for more details.