Yoga Interview with Scott Moore
I am doing research on the benefits and risk of Yoga and in my processes of gathering information I interviewed a amazing man and yoga instructor, Scott Moore. His words were so enlightening and beautiful about his practice in Yoga that I had to share it. He has inspired me to continue my research in Yoga and my practice. Here is our interview:
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I’ve been practicing yoga since 1999, so about 13 years.
How did you get into yoga?
I started doing yoga at the gym. I was interested in its meditative qualities but became attracted to the powerful physical component as well. At first I wasn’t really into it but I was curious what it was all about. The more I learned, the more I liked it.
What does yoga mean to you? What does it do for you?
For me, yoga is about understanding myself better by listening—listening to my body, my mind, paying attention to the world around me and all that.
How does if affect your health?
On the immediate level, my body feels great when I practice yoga. My whole body stays strong, mobile, and flexible. I also feel grounded and calm and centered when I practice yoga. It helps me sleep well and keep any stress manageable.
In all your experience with yoga, what has most surprised you?
I have been surprised at how big the idea of yoga is. There is a huge philosophical component to yoga that has been really cool to explore. Something I realized about yoga recently is that the ideas that yoga invites a person to consider are bigger than the practice of yoga itself. I guess what I mean to say by that is that I’ve discovered that you can practice being mindful in anything you do, whether that’s walking your dog, doing your work, even writing a paper about yoga!
What has been the most difficult aspect of your work?
One of the hardest things about what I do is trying to negotiate an experience that matches what several people need simultaneously. There is a lot of organizing to run your own business and that gets stressful sometimes.
What are the benefits of yoga for you?
When I practice yoga, I feel strong, my running gets better (I love to run, too—a great compliment to yoga), I feel chilled out, I can sleep well, my lung capacity is better, my circulation and digestion work well, I understand myself, inside and out, when I practice yoga. Perhaps the best thing about yoga is that it feels good and that it’s a lot of fun.
What are the risk of yoga for you?
Like any exercise, you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful. That’s why I spend a lot of time learning and explaining how the body works so that people (and I) can practice safely. Really, it’s about paying attention to your body’s comfortable limits and agreeing to not do something that might hurt you.
What do you think is the most common misconception about yoga? Why?
The most common misconception about yoga is that yoga is a religion. Yoga was born of a religion, Hinduism, for sure but is bigger than any one religion. Those who really know about yoga will tell you that Yoga will make you a better person. Period. If you happen to belong to a religion, or don’t, you’ll be better for it. That’s because yoga teaches us to be kind, thoughtful, honest, full of integrity and then put that to action. You don’t have to believe in God to practice yoga. Sometimes people chant to Hindu gods, and sometimes people freak out about that, really that is about tuning into what you believe about yourself, whether you believe that you are a divine expression of a divine being like God, or simply divine because of no particular reason other than you are a part of this whole universe and everything is special. So people can chant and have a lot of different ideas about what they are chanting to, God or the divine part of yourself, for example.
Who or what influenced you?
I’ve been influenced by some great yoga teachers, Jenny Lewis, my first yoga teacher. Peter Francyk and Erin Geesaman Rabke, some other very influential yoga teachers. Krishnamacharia. This dude died a long time ago but I’ve read his books and he’s taught me a lot about yoga
What is the most important thing you have learned from yoga?
I’ve learned better who and what I am. I’ve learned how to open my heart. I’ve learned that my body is a divine pathway to understanding myself.
Do you believe it can prevent cancer?
Hummm. Yes and no. Yes, in that it reduces all those things that can cause cancer like being fat, being stressed, not moving, having toxins in your body, etc. No in that sometimes, even though you do everything right, cancer can still come up in crazy ways. It certainly can’t hurt.
Do you think different poses have different meaning and benefits?
Sure. Like, headstand tones muscles in the core, decompresses your spine and helps with back problems, puts blood flow and good energy in your head and helps you concentrate. Seated forward fold, reduces anxiety, stretches muscles that get tight in your legs and back and helps you focus inward.
Should everyone practices yoga in your opinion?
Yes. Sometimes that practice can be gentle, sometimes it can be vigorous depending on the person and what they need for health. Sometimes people just need to practice meditation. Like I said, anything done with mindfulness is yoga, in my opinion.\