Whole Life Yoga Immersion: Review
You can recognize a good yoga workshop by the fact that its effect gradually matures in you. That’s why I’ve waited until now to give my review of YOGA IMMERSION.
If I had to choose one word that would sum it all up, it would be the word “Life”, or perhaps more precisely “Revitalisation”. Not for nothing does James Boag call “his yoga” Whole Life Yoga. The important thing here is that this is not false advertising. James has the gift of watering seemingly dry philosophical concepts with living water, thereby inviting them into our everyday life. He is really good at it and he’s not afraid to use all the available means – so while talking about yoga philosophy, in addition to Sanskrit sūtras and ślokas, the soundtrack of the old Transformers series or the Nirvana song Come As you are may also be heard. The whole teaching of yoga, thousands of years old, is suddenly alive and fresh, as if designed for us here and now.
It is very similar with movement. With James, don’t expect “yoga classics” or freezing in positions that are often very unnatural, albeit pleasing to the eye. But you know, things that look good don’t always taste good or have long-term beneficial effects.
Here it was the other way around. It didn’t always look good on the outside, as Tomáš Hakl and I discovered when we discussed the footage from the seminar, but the important thing was that the body was properly nourished. We don’t practice to be a perfect model for a 2D image (although there was one trikonāsana, albeit explored in a very unorthodox way!). We are 3D beings, so we should be moving in all directions, and it’s really hard to capture what that’s like. But Tom did a great job as you can see in the video below.
James is a bit like Jára Cimrman (Jára Cimrman is a very popular fictional character of a Czech polymath, a universal genius) the gymnast – the point is to make it real. That’s why there is no mat, no tools, in everyday life there is often no time and space to prepare for a long time and you need to take advantage of the given moment. Yoga happens right here, right now.
External influences are also related to this. You know, you are doing a yoga seminar and downstairs some people are having a floorball tournament! Emotions flow and are often expressed through a spray of sounds quite unlike those from a yoga meditation playlist. And James? He is at peace… “How many times in your life are you in absolute silence?” And so we carry on enjoying our work, in spite of what might have been deemed a disturbance.
And then, later, you find that someone else has organised a music festival right under the window. The Floorball symphony is no longer a problem because the percussion from the outdoor concert can be counted on to reliably drown out just about EVERYTHING! And James? He is cool with it. Yoga is skillfulness in action. So use what comes and transform it to your advantage… And so we practice to the rhythm, and what could have irretrievably disrupted the whole seminar, in the end gave it new juice.
The highlight was when we chanted Jayananda Yashoda Dulal to the tune of some pop song by the band below us… So we all had living, expriential proof: you really can practice ANYTIME!
I’m very happy that the event was a success. Thanks to everyone who came and helped create a great atmosphere!
Many thanks to James Boag, and to Tomáš Hakl for the photos and video
Important: although I had the feeling that there was no person in the Universe whom I did not personally invite to the seminar (or at least I did not send him an email), it turned out that some of you missed the information. Please, if you are interested in the next yoga immersion with James – register here: https://1url.cz/@Yoga_Immersion
Martin Wagenknecht October 2023
James Boag | Whole Life Yoga
The yoga of the whole human being. Practical philosophy, storytelling, movement, inquiry, looking in ways that reach beyond our habitual ways of looking.
Listen to James’ unique whole life yoga perspectives on the WHOLE LIFE YOGA podcast.