A confluence of conversations has emerged in the yoga world regarding purpose, safety, and abuse of power. The politics involved are playing themselves out, and the sides of the debate are being formed along disparate lines.
For many, it is has become important to distinguish between “asana,” or the performing of postures, and yoga. Both those who are inclined towards yoga as a fitness regimen, and those who embrace it as more than just exercise, find it necessary to clarify the intent and purpose behind their practice. This compartmentalization, while convenient and often useful, brings with it a dilemma, the resolution to which determines what is actually possible with yoga.
Economic trends and the evolution of social media have led to a shift in the way yoga is being effectively marketed. The old model of packaging and selling a style of practice has largely been retired. Now, everyone agrees, the teacher is the brand. With this comes a string of inevitabilities that are at the heart of what plagues most professional yoga teachers today.
When circumstances, ruled by forces beyond the will of one individual, overshadow our personal experience of life, unconscious resentment and fear run deep. The coercive fuel of capitalism has conditioned and resigned us to manipulation that both obfuscates truth and reveals the inhumanity of entrenched power. Despite hopelessness, perhaps a kernel of our sacrificed fortitude and imagination can be redeemed.
Last month, the Yoga Alliance announced a new policy regarding “yoga therapy terminology” that creates a significant new precedent. A lack of any public debate and transparency in the process has made it difficult to discern why exactly this was needed and what purpose it serves.
by J. Brown Expanding the definition of reality beyond the usual time, money and politics is generally considered naive or delusional. Aspects of life that are immeasurable or defy explanation are relegated to the realm of hearsay and mysticism. But from a purely pragmatic standpoint, magic is undeniable. In recent months, I’ve had to admit [...]
Recent events and the turn of season have landed on many like a celestial wet blanket, casting a hue of funk and resignation. Even just a quick glance at any news feed bombards us with what seems to be insurmountable suffering, injustice, and ignorance. Governments and institutions appear at a loss to stem the tide. As individuals, we have no choice but to either give in to hopelessness or garner our intrinsic resources.
by J. Brown The continued rise of Instagram-influenced yoga has led to a new wave of criticism among East-Indians and academics alike. Accusations of cultural appropriation are being levied just as long-held myths are being debunked. Many earnest practitioners find themselves confused by the discord between what they see and read in the media and the experience [...]
by J. Brown Once heralded and esteemed, yoga conferences have lost much of their appeal as livelier yoga festivals have come into emergence and birthed new forms of yoga events. Large-scale gatherings and demonstrations, happening under the auspices of group yoga practice, are setting new precedents and are emblematic of ever expanding roles yoga is [...]