Allow me to indulge in a little pious ranting.
The latest Yoga International magazine has a beautiful profile of Dharma Mittra, a real-deal yogi whose classes I've been fortunate enough to take over the years. He is obviously a person who lives what he teaches, and who is completely satisfied with the life of a yogi. He doesn't need fame or wealth because...he's got yoga. And really, if you're doing it right, and living by the yamas and niyamas, you don't need anything else. He exemplifies this, and in my estimation, he's a genuine transmitter of the teachings.
Contrast this with the five e-mails I got last night from another celebrated yoga professional, each one advertising some new product or seminar. "Buy my CD!" "Attend my seminar in Scotland!" "Buy my new line of yoga clothing."
Just what the world needs, a new fucking line of overpriced, unnecessary clothes designed to make you look sexy as you do your postures.
It just pisses me off that teachers, very respected and successful teachers, are taking the aims and methods of yoga and distorting them so that now yoga is just another franchise. These people are saying, "You don't need to meditate or serve people, or control your senses. You need to attend my expensive seminars and buy special $80 tank tops, and do the most fancy poses, and then you'll be doing yoga."
I know that my reaction is not coming from a compassionate place, but I'd like to think I am not just projecting here, that there is something fundamentally twisted about all this that needs to be addressed by the yoga community/racket.
One could also argue that it's all good, it's all God, it all flows back to the true essence. Maybe someone becomes attracted to yoga through a glossy magazine or popular teacher, and then is earnest enough to keep searching for the real thing. In that case, the glossy magazine or glossy guru is a positive influence.
Or maybe these get-rich-yogi's really don't know what they're doing, and need a little reminder.
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