Hi, this is Eric Stewart.
I’m the person who came up with the name for this yoga, and over a bunch of years, I’ve developed, revised, and taught it as a method.
I’ve made sure that a space exists for Simple Yoga to take root and grow– a space to gather insights, a space where setbacks can be transformed into learning, a space where expansion can happen.
Simple Yoga came about because in my own practice and teaching I began to find a system that was different from other methods. I felt a need (really, I felt compelled) to communicate the ideas and experiences I was finding in the practice, especially as I discovered that these things could resonate with other people.
Over the years, Simple Yoga has evolved by exploring a few essential questions:
- What is the most basic way to understand support?
- Can we develop a vocabulary to talk about support?
- How does the presence or absence of support affect people?
Exploration of this process has progressed from personal practice, to classes, to more intensive, in-depth work, and to this day a vital exchange of information continues between the solitude of practicing alone and the community of doing so together.
While all this makes me the founder of Simple Yoga, I don’t think about it much in those terms. For one thing, this method has been shaped and formed by many other people, as well as forces outside myself.
It has been shaped by teachers and by learning that occurred before Simple Yoga was ever a thing. It has also been deeply influenced by those who have studied and participated in its development.
Also, in my own process of conveying Simple Yoga into the world, it is very clear to me that it definitely isn’t mine. Simple Yoga is external to me and that’s a great thing.
From the beginning I have found that as this yoga is passed on, it is its own entity, upheld by, and upholding those who practice it.
As I’ve guided Simple Yoga into the world, it has been a teacher to me. I have become a student of its principles, assessing how it works, and giving myself over to a way of seeing that offers a counterpoint to my own assumptions and expectations.
Put another way, a lot of Simple Yoga has developed from observing my own difficulties, and the difficulties of others, then exploring what possibilities exist to remedy those problems. What results is principles that are flexible. What is offered is a method with structure that is also adaptable.
It’s not perfect, but in the way it’s not perfect, there exists the invitation to understand with more depth and compassion. Sometimes it’s challenging, but it can work when people are willing to bring curiosity and awareness to their situation.
Then and Now
In 2007 Simple Yoga gained its name, which came from a conversation with a good friend at the end of a retreat I’d been teaching. Since then it has grown into a distinct method, supported by principles and the test of experience. Simple Yoga has expanded to offer intensives for those wishing to explore in greater depth, and trainings where people learn to teach the work.
As an organization, we are inspired by how this practice can support people in the messiness and the beauty of their lives. We are dedicated to the continued exploration, and communication of Simple Yoga. We are dedicated to learning from life, and to working with anyone interested in the same.