This was a wonderful conversation. As a teacher, José Luis seems enthusiastic and well-spoken; he took delight in answering my questions, carefully and patiently choosing his words and elaborating with colorful examples. During the interview, I found myself somewhat enchanted with his descriptions and the ways in which he mapped the teachings of yoga to how we move, behave and learn as practitioners.
In my mind, there are few gifts more precious than a articulate, thoughtful person.
Below are some excerpts from our conversation. Read the full interview here on YogaCityNYC.
LK: What is a misconception about Dynamic Yoga?
JC: When people hear the name Dynamic Yoga, they imagine something like hot yoga. Yoga is an inner practice, and that’s what the word “dynamic” is referring to—our internal dynamics. When you first clarify and honor the internal dynamics, and the body and mind express availability, the external dynamics can then take more demanding and exotic shapes or postures.
In general, a big misconception is that yoga is all about what you can get or what you can do. People tend to focus on improving their strength and flexibility, or believe that yoga is about becoming more perfect, pure, or holy. We teach that yoga is not about what you can get, but how you actually feel. That’s very different from other methods.
LK: What can practitioners expect in a Dynamic Yoga workshop?
We approach the workshops as interactive, shared investigations [. . . ] This is one of the main gifts of Dynamic Yoga. It’s a training method, not a style, so it reveals inherent unity of all the yoga styles. The many facets of the practice— intimacy with sensation, intimacy with life, with the body and its functions, how the body moves with integrity, how the breath releases, how the mind functions—are shared by all yoga styles.
Ultimately, it’s not about believing what I say. Dynamic Yoga is about practitioners moving into self-inquiry to investigate not only how they feel, but also their own questions and beliefs.