Thanks to Pravassa for their in-depth interview with Nikki Vilella and Emily Stone. Here’s an excerpt:
Q: This eBook which provides an audio class, class sequence links, photographs and yoga philosophy is a very cool new concept for the world of yoga. How did it come about?
Nikki Vilella: I am often approached by students who ask me if there is anything they can buy so that they can do one of my classes while on the road, or at home when they can’t get to the studio. My initial reaction has always been “no, you just have to come to class”. Part of my resistance to creating a yoga class in digital format has been that I am not a big fan of what currently exists in the market: a camera in the back of a classroom full of students where people’s personal practices are on display or a complete video class where I imagine someone in their living room doing the class while watching the TV or computer screen the entire time. When I saw the quality with which Inflextion, who published the eBook, could produce something new and revolutionary for the market, I knew that we had a chance to change how people approach studying yoga at home. This eBook is an interactive product which allows the pose to come alive from many directions, the order of which you choose as the reader. There is nothing that says flat coffee table book or online video tape about this product.
Emily Stone: One of the many essential crossroads of this ancient, transformative practice is where the physical and the philosophical merge, or rather, form their own yoga. Whether we realize it or not, this is the alchemical process that keeps us returning to our mat and what keeps us on the mat when various physical, emotional or psychic challenges arrive. Jake Laub, the publisher, approached me to contribute to the book because he came to know my work as a teacher of literature and linguistics (I was a high school Latin teacher for many years) as well as a lover of mythology. After a few long conversations and brainstorming sessions we discovered we wanted to merge the physical practice and the philosophy into one experience because, quite frankly, they are one experience. As teachers of yoga, we strive to find the middle ground between a five minute dharma talk and a PhD in the epic tradition. How can we make yogic philosophy relevant to what we actually practice? The book is really a smorgasbord of all these ideas, which is what lends it depth without being overly daunting and also what makes it a fun, informative read for both teachers and students.
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