The darker side of Yoga...and why it breaks my heart
Looking from the outside in, Yoga is a spiritual practice, the people who practice it are centered and at peace, with themselves, and with one another. Their glow shines out to the world and spreads like a happy song. Actually being on the inside of this "spiritual practice" it looks a whole lot different...a whole lot darker.
I am not sure what has happened in the last 10 years or so, blame it on social media, blame it on commerce...heck blame whoever you think it should fall on...but Yoga today is not what ancient Indians had in mind. Yoga today is starting to look like the same place that the suits try to escape because of all the ladder climbing and foot trampling happening behind office walls. Who would have thought?
Yoga has become about elbowing others out of the way, stealing workshop ideas, having conversations just to ruse out information to use to your benefit, meeting the bottom line at cost to the practice - it makes me sad, it breaks my heart and I wonder how much further into the mud it will be dragged. (And no it is not the same mud that the Lotus will rise from)
My Yoga - and I feel no shame in calling it that because I am passionately bound to my practice, be it daily, weekly, monthly - whenever. My Yoga changed my life, I am by no means perfect- Heck I drink red bull- should I apologize for it because I am a Yogi? Seriously? I have become a vegan, I fall of the horse once in a while and have what my daughter has left of her donut instead of thowing it away...Should I apologize for it? Come on! I wear my mala beads, not to show my superiority over anyone else, but simply because they are beautiful and remind me of my inspiration and my motivation. I want to be able to do a scorpion pose...seems I should now apply for the circus.
When did it start being about competition. Who has the best photo in the best pose with the best yoga leggings?
Yoga should be about lifting one another up, rejoicing in the fact that you just held a handstand for 2,5 seconds, helping people find their comfort in their child pose, learning to breathe, knowing when to let go - that is my Yoga.
I am a yoga teacher and I hope that this is the vibe I give in my classes, that no one has the feeling that I am pushing a circus act.
I am kind of a yoga groupie and recently attended my favorite Yoga teachers workshop, and she said (somewhere along these lines):
Our bodies are amazing. Maybe today your Tadasana sucks, maybe tomorrow your Virabhadrasana 2 will kick ass, next month you could be in a handstand and that is an amazing thing. Rejoice in it! Your body is amazing!
Stop the trolling! There is enough negativity out there without it having to come from people or a practice that is suppose to be about finding peace. Make a photo, post it, like it, share it - rejoice in your differences. In opinion, in capability, in everything. But rejoice in and for each other. Lift one another up, don`t elbow each other out the way. Make a community strong!
That is my Yoga!
Peace, Love and Blessings