Yoga has been reinvented to fit the needs of those it serves, but in some cases it may accept gone too far.
Photo Credit: Tomas Sobek / Flickr.com
There is no agnosticism that yoga has been re-invented to fit the needs of those it serves; yoga today is far altered from the yoga accomplished commonly by gurus in India. In fact, the yoga we convenance is absolutely absolutely new. The Vinyasa architecture was developed in the 20th century, the yoga mat was invented in the 1990s, and yoga pants abandoned became accepted in the aftermost 10 years.
With the change of yoga, we accept apparent two audible reactions from the South Asian population. On one side, we see some people, such as those who are allotment of the Hindu American Foundation, agitated over the cultural allotment of yoga and accusation agents of new-age yoga for abnormality far from the cultural and acceptable attempt of the practice. HAF alike ran a “Take Back Yoga” attack a few years ago. The alignment writes:
As the multi-billion-dollar yoga industry continues to abound with studios acceptable as accustomed as Starbucks and $120 yoga pants, the accumulation commercialization of this age-old practice, abiding in Hindu thought, has become concerning. With admeasurement of new forms of “yoga,” the basal meaning, philosophy, and purpose of yoga are actuality lost. Take Back Yoga aims to accompany to ablaze yoga as a life-long convenance committed to achieving moksha, or liberation/union with God.
The added ancillary of the South Asian citizenry seems to be a bit added forgiving. I apperceive abounding Indian-American yoga agents who feel that these enhancements and additions to yoga accept bigger yoga by authoritative it attainable to added people. Is addition necessarily bad if it leads so abounding individuals assimilate the aisle of amenity and spirituality?
This agitation leads us to the accurate catechism we should be asking: are Americans practicing a form of yoga that is activity to advance them on a aisle of adherence and mindfulness? Or is their convenance demography them bottomward a absolutely altered road?
In the United States alone, over 15 actor bodies convenance some anatomy of yoga. Yoga is an awning appellation that encompasses aggregate from beer yoga, Acro yoga, ability yoga, Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga…the account goes on. A acceptable yogi will accept a adamantine time puttinggoat yoga, for example, in the aforementioned chic as meditational yoga based on Vedic teachings.
Goat yoga is aloof what it sounds like. (Photo credit: Lainey Morse)
Sachi Doctor, a South Asian yoga abecedary and Ayurvedic practitioner, tells us we should see yoga as a aesthetics and way of activity as the core. From there, we can extend one annex to focus absolutely on asanas, the postures like bottomward dog and warrior affectation that best bodies accessory with the practice. Again we aggrandize into altered variations such as Asthanga, Hatha and Iyengar. If we booty Asthanga as its own concentration, we aggrandize into Vinyasa; from Vinyasa we advance Ability yoga, and we accumulate on activity until the new forms become so abroad from the core, they actualize their own island. Again formats such as Acro yoga and beer yoga are operating in their own abandoned academy of thought, alone from the amount philosophy.
Speaking of beer yoga, a brace of years ago, Lululemon created the tagline “Beer, it’s the new yoga pant” to allure added men to their yoga-centric brand. But any well-intentioned yogi would apperceive that beer with yoga does not accompany you into a attentive state, it artlessly leaves you inebriated. To what admeasurement can we appraisal Lululemon for communicable the aesthetics of yoga? Is it the albatross of a multinational, multi-million-dollar aggregation to bottle the abstention of yoga? It’s difficult to say.
So area does the accusation lie? Do we appraisal the apprentice for not actuality analytical and self-aware abundant to seek yoga that does amends to the amount aesthetics of the practice? No, the apprentice is artlessly aggravating to acquisition means to accomplish wellness added fun and approachable.
That leaves us with the teacher. Yoga agents accept the ability to advise and brainwash acceptance in the appropriate manner. They additionally authority the albatross of accomplishing amends to yoga. If agents are chanting about Ram and Sita but accept not heard about the Indian ballsy Ramayana, I would catechism their teachings. I would alternate to chase agents who are quick with the oms and namastes, but debris to booty an added few account to apprentice the cultural acceptation of these terms. Finally, it would be adamantine to account agents who assert on application incense, Buddha and Sanskrit mantras in class, but abort to accede the agent of these symbols.
A yoga teacher’s albatross goes way accomplished instructing acceptance through the breeze of a class. They are the ones we should accumulate answerable to accompany amenity and adherence into their students’ lives. I’ll accept it is not an accessible task. We charge added agents who can absolutely accept the article of the East and again appropriately administer them to the West.
Akansha Agrawal runs the wellness brand Citrus & Gold. Acquisition her on Twitter and Instagram @citrusandgold.
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