Some of the main aspects of a yogic attitude are non judgement, compassion, and acceptance.
Being someone who is connected to the yoga community, I have come to terms that this is easier said than done. There is a lot of ongoing judgement and gossip. I have stayed quiet for awhile, but I finally have something to say…
One of the biggest judgments I hear is about teachers who are treating their studios and classes more like a business, and concerned about money than in connection with the spiritual path of yoga.
I disagree with this completely because the two are not separate.
Yoga is acknowledging the connection between the physical and spiritual world. A yoga studio is a business and a place of spirituality.
It is up to you to make the space into whatever you want.
The business owner can have their own intentions of course, but when it comes down to it, it is only your personal intention that matters.
For some people, a studio might be a place to just practice postures or meet people to date. For others, it might be a place of finding inner peace and letting go.
After practicing for a long period of time with many teachers at many studios, I have learned that the practice works through us no matter what environment we’re in. I’d like to see people let go of their judgement, and encourage others to just follow their path on their terms.
I also hear many practitioners complain that yoga is becoming more about advanced asana, and not the spiritual path of yoga.
“Teachers just want to show off how flexible and advanced they are rather than teaching the basics and foundation, and students just want to put their legs behind their head and snap a picture.”
Well, teachers want to snap pictures, too! I’ll admit, sometimes I think postures are just plain fun and want to take pictures, and sometimes I dread them and want to pretend they do not exist!
WHO CARES? Just focus on your practice. Don’t make this your problem because it’s not a problem at all.
Here’s the thing; there are many paths, and we have to accept everyone where they are.
Whether someone finds yoga in a gym, at a Bikram studio, or in a cave sitting in meditation posture for many hours a day, then we need accept and support that.
I know that if a certain action upsets or frustrates me, then I must look within. My suffering and judgement is my problem – not anyone else’s.
I started off doing yoga in a gym, which was focused on fitness and postures.
I knew that there was something deeper, so I searched for that – and still do. However, the gym was my vessel to a deeper spiritual study.
Wherever it is that someone stumbles into a yoga class is a blessing, and it is up to the student to take from it what they will, and to seek out a true spiritual journey when the time is right.
Maybe there are people who practice yoga as postures as gymnastics for a lifetime, but if that is what makes someone happy and healthy, or if they learned a valuable lesson from it, then why not?
That is the practice of yoga. Maybe in the next lifetime, the advice of seeking out the spiritual path will grow deeper. Until then, the teacher should do their best to guide you into awareness, and always support your path.
Yoga will never be lost.
I hear a lot of discussions and concerns about how yoga is being lost and watered down, but I disagree. Yoga is not something someone controls. Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind chatter, whether you find inner peace through cooking, running, or vinyasa. The teacher is just a vessel to lead you on your yogic journey.
It’s up to you to decide if your teacher no longer serves you, and to find a new spiritual guide.
I would love to see more yogis hold the space for these situations and just accept them as part of the universe, and stop trying to control things.
Awareness is one thing, but judging is another.
The teacher is inside all of use. We choose teachers that reflect ourselves, so if we are with a teacher that treats us badly or misleads us, that is because we need to work through our own issues of self sabotage, confidence, finding a voice, need for approval, or anything else that this could be related to.
It’s time to support everyone on their path, which I believe is the best example of preserving the spiritual path of yoga.
Yoga will never be lost !
What are your thoughts on postures, spirituality, and the path of yoga. Do you think yoga can be lost? How can we best preserve the spiritual aspect of yoga?
Yogi Love Forever,