by Nicole Becker, founder/owner
It was the last straw. I realized I had my mission...
In 2004 I completed a year-long intensive Yoga teacher training. I had been studying and practicing Yoga for 10 years already and was participating in Master Classes just for Yoga teachers. In these mastery sessions we practiced all sorts of intense complicated "advanced" postures.
One session, the teacher had us practicing fore-arm balance (scorpion pose/Vrischikasana). I had trouble doing this pose without the support of the wall and I remember my teacher admonishing me that "If you want to be a teacher you have to be able to do this pose away from the wall".
That sentence was the final straw. I thought to myself, "What a load of crap!" I couldn't have disagreed more! I was fortunate to have had a lot of wise teachers and beautiful examples of real Yogis in my life and the assumptions behind that one sentence infuriated me! Right then the dream of my own Yoga studio began. I wanted to create a place where that type of systemic pressure toward superficial achievement of postures was non-existent.
In my teaching experience hardly anyone can safely do "advanced" postures anyway! Besides which, "advanced" postures do not make you a better person! I've met plenty of jerks who can get their leg behind their head! It is depth of presence in any moment that makes for an advanced practice.
Most people are just normal everyday people with busy lives and lots of aches and pains and only 1 or 2 times a week to dedicate to a movement practice. Most people are interested in feeling better in the body but also want to feel connected to their inner wisdom and deeper truths.
But most popular Yoga is taught with the implicit assumption that how you get better at Yoga is by being able to "do the postures" in a specific way and that everything else is just a modification until you "get it right". This - topped with contradictory platitudes of "just be okay with where you are now" plus "practice hard, find your edge, you can get good at it if you try more" - is a violence to our psyche that I cannot get on board with!
So, I created Ojas Yoga Center as a sanctuary for yoga students who are tired of superficial Yoga. At OYC, we teach Yoga that meets you where you're at and nourishes you body, heart, and soul.
OYC is for students who want to feel like they can show up any day, week or month and not have to be "in shape for Yoga" and they will not feel pressured to perform poses in a way that might hurt them.
OYC is for students who have big hearts and big lives that want to be met with depth and authentic practices that enrich their lives.
On October 23rd, it will be 10 years since Ojas Yoga Center first opened it's doors. Although our doors may not be opened in the physical location for some time to come, our virtual doors and our hearts are wide open to you just as you are. We look forward to practicing with you soon!
To our teachers, our teachers' teachers, our inner teacher, each other, and the whole world family - we bow.
With Love + Ojas,
COMING SOON 'NOURISHING OJAS' 8 WEEK ONLINE COURSE
with Nicole Becker
Cultivate vitality and joy with this 8-week healing journey. Find grace through the struggle and build resilience on every level with this rich series of writings, video practices, and journaling. Click here to learn more
Author, Nicole Becker
Yoga Therapist, Retreat Leader, and Heart of Yoga Teacher, Nicole Becker offers yoga and self-care insights and tips.