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Monday, April 13, 2015

my view on... yoga


or should I say my very strict view on yoga...
let me explain...
I know some won't be happy about that...  but I will try to be as clear as possible to not create misunderstandings.

I started practicing yoga in 2006.  Exactly 9 years ago...  as recommended by my psychologist to manage my stress and help "deal" with MS.

Now, those little stretches I was doing with a DVD before bedtime turned into a completely different lifestyle. 

I think yoga is a lifestyle, not a religion, not a trend, that has been practice for thousands of years in India mostly.  Yoga in itself means union - union of you body, mind and spirit.   The asanas (or posture) as we know them in America are just 1/5 of yoga.... and their only purpose it to strenghten your body to sustain meditation in the hope of attaining nirvana. Yoga is a lifestyle because it changes the way you think, the way you see things, the way you eat and treat your body and the way you live in general.

This is what has been happening in India for ever!

Now yoga was brought to America with noble intentions... but like with everything else, we have managed to ruin it! Let me explain....

Now yoga is a trends... that is practice with fancy lululemon outfit, expensive mats and props... 
Back in India, it was done in comfortable clothing - that you wore the rest of the day, on dirt directly and with no props - because you took you time to manage asanas...

Now yoga is practice by everyone and anyone with or without any particular respect for the discipline.  There are more and more yoga studios everyday.. more and more yoga style and more and more yoga teacher! Some just started practicing yoga a few years back and are just about 20 years old!
Back in India, teachers were "older" "wiser" yogis... they had been practicing yoga for years and from mastering it were able to teach it... your teacher "chose" you when you were ready... and there was not a yoga studio at every corner.

Now yoga is a physical exercise that allows you to eat cake and drink wine in between sessions (and yes I did hear that from a fellow student once)...  it's a physical exercise with fancy posture which you can do "selfies" of when you manage to do them (there are hundreds of postures now)... it's a physical exercise that became almost unreal and scares people off as they are not "fit" or "bendy" enough...
Back in India yoga changed the way you fed yourself... you cannot reach nirvana if you treat your body like a garbage - and this is the goal of yoga... there was about only 12 posture to start off with and about 50 all in all...  Yoga was for everyone who seek peace, wellness and wanted to turn their life around to become better people.

What happened?  Well WE happened.... everything in America is about money...  trends... sheep's following more sheep's... We turned yoga into a money making machine and lost what it was all about!

I know we all need to earn a living... but some stuff still deserve respect and deserve more then being treated as a money making machine.  Practicing yoga and becoming a yogi is a calling.... teaching it a vocation... which I know I do not have... the calling yes... the vocation not at all!

It's OK that some people do it for the physical side of it... it's OK that so many people try it...  hey this is how I started... but what I am saying is that before you call yourself a yogi make sure you're following all of it...  make sure you're not only embracing the asanas - which there is nothing wrong with if you don't call yourself a yogi!

It's OK that you want to teach it to make money...  but is it really for you?  Can you picture the "almost perfect" yogi?  Did you make significant change in your life to be a yogi and a yoga teacher - our lifestyle in America in general is far from being yogic like? I have met teacher who smoked... I have met teacher who lived in mansion and drove a fancy car... I have met teachers who were so stressed out they were not even focused while teaching... And if you are one of those, and you still want to teach yoga, please "target" serious student and be honest with them... tell them you may not be the right teacher for them... 

Having yoga everywhere can be a great thing... but it can also be a dangerous thing...  in the sense that it may loose it's millennium appeal... 

Yoga is more then doing 108 sun salute in 2h... it is more then being able to do a headstand or handstand by yourself in the middle of the room.... some people will physically be able to do that and should still never call themselves yogis. And some are not able to do those asanas but are the best yogis and very inspirational people...

They say you cannot be a mom before you gave birth...  or adopted a child...
They say you can never be a marathonian before you ran your first 42k marathon...

Well in that case, you can not be a yogi if you do not follow the complete yogi lifestyle - asana, pranayama, meditation, diet, life principles and philosophy...
And you cannot be a teacher until you reached nirvana and it deeply, profoundly affected you and you embrace it!

This is what I think....  your view may be different.... I told you it was about my "strict" view on yoga... 

love&peace,
nath
xox
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2 comments:

  1. I am very interested in yoga, the real yoga but I don't really know where to start. Do you have any suggestions.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bitha! all dpeends where you live.... but a good start would be to get the book by Tara Fraser called Total Yoga. You can get it on Amazon... it is a great general introduction that explains what yoga is all about withouth too many details to start off with...
      then I would recommend finding a yoga studio in your are that DOES NOT offer hot yoga.... stay away from those studios... and then try different teachers and yoga style.
      If you can find an introductory yoga class (that is typically 8 or 12 sessions) that would be awesome to get you started.
      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you... I am not really good at that....
      Perhaps you can add me to FB and then send me PM... I deal with those in a much better time!
      Namaste,
      love&peace xox

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