Would you believe it if we told you that we are all intrinsically connected to each other because of a FISH?? Anything is possible, right? Here is a story for you…
Once upon a time, the powerful destroyer of the cosmos and original yogi, Shiva, emerged from 10,000 years of meditation on Mount Kailash. All the secrets of yoga, the practices, and how to teach them had been revealed to him. Excitedly he rushed home to his beloved consort, Parvati, the resplendent goddess of love, devotion, and strength. Parvati had already mastered the yogic practices through her devotion to win Shiva’s affections, so she was not surprised when Shiva arrived. She had already packed a picnic for them as she knew he was coming and would be hungry. They relaxed next to a river, and Shiva began divulging all that had been revealed to him about yoga. Parvati rested her head in Shiva’s lap, dipped her finger in the river, and began to doze off. She hardly needed to be lectured on the system she had created when alone in the forest before marrying Shiva! A fish who was swimming by noticed the ripples created by Parvati’s finger. He swam to get a closer look and overheard Shiva’s lecture on yoga. Instantly enthralled in the teachings, the fish, Matsya, stayed until Shiva was finished. “Oh Shiva, please recount the teachings of yoga again, all the way from the beginning!” Matysa cried out. Not at all surprised to hear this coming from a fish, Shiva graciously started again from the beginning, thrilled to have someone who wanted to listen.
In that moment, a great chain of sincerity and awakening began with the first teacher to student relationship. Matsya went on to become enlightened and continued to share the teachings of yoga. Because of that fish, we all have the incredible practices of yoga still today. And the tradition of teaching yoga continues.
The transmission of the yogic teachings connects us all to something much larger than any one individual. We know the teachings are not brand new, but that they have been passed down, gifted, to us. When a teacher tells us to straighten our leg or gives us that cosmic yoga assist we love, we know that they were also told to straighten their leg and received the same yoga assist from their teacher. When a teacher says something that awakens within you the depth of your compassion, they too heard the same words from their teacher. We often become immensely grateful for our yoga teachers, even bringing them gifts and tokens of appreciation. Our appreciation is not only for that person, but for the great line of teachers and students going back to Shiva and Matsya.
Our connection to each other as fellow teachers and graduates of the Longwave Yoga Teacher Training programs, keeps the tradition of yoga healthy and alive. We continue to learn from each other, offer feedback, take trainings together, and share tips and inspirations along the way. Every shared assist and yoga sutra pronunciation practice is another link in a great chain known as lineage. Together, we now carry the precious responsibility of passing down the yogic teachings to others. When we listen well, encourage each other, and uphold the integrity of our connection, we keep the knowledge alive.