October 27, 2017
A conversation I had recently went something like this:
“Oh, you are doing art & meditation & sound healing, but no ‘yoga’ for the workshop?”
How is THIS not yoga? How is all of THIS not yoga? Have we forgotten what yoga IS? Did we ever know in the first place? Everything is Yoga when Yoga is understood. There is no separation between not yoga & yoga. As I write, I am practicing my yoga. As I sit, I am practicing my yoga. As I plan my day, I am practicing my yoga. These are not just words to say and repeat robotically. This is not just a script I have been trained to recite. This is not just a theory or exercise. This is the most profound truth I have ever known. Yoga is “Union”. These are not words to be taken lightly. Not a phrase to be gently smiled upon as you nod in agreement. Saying it is not enough. Reading it is not enough. Printing it on a T-shirt, is not enough. Telling others is not enough.
Understanding it, is everything. Let is sink in. Let it inform every aspect of your life.
Yoga Is Union.
Sometimes I think studios and the studio culture has completely ruined yoga by cultivating the culture that yoga is something you can pay for. Something you can go to and experience for an hour and then go home or back to work or wherever. Something you can read in a book on or have printed on a bumpersticker. Something you “Do”. Something you can call/label yourself.
Yes, I am aware of the counter arguments regarding making a living and money as an accepted and valuable form of exchange. And I am in no way against any of that. Still, I find myself asking all the time: What have we lost, what are we in the process of losing, as yoga becomes increasingly commodified, “studio-ified”? Its a big question. Perhaps it is too late. But asking it will help us as other spiritual paths (shamanism, meditation) go mainstream and are in danger of walking this same slippery slope .
I wonder how many of us really think about this, sink our teeth into this question and engage it fully? Really consider, 10 years out, where does this path I am paving lead? What are the pros and cons of the choices I am making now, to the future collective awakening of this world, this consciousness? Am I helping, or hurting? Can I be honest? Can I even know? Does that make it OK?
Is Beer/Cat/Glitter/Naked (fill in the blank) Yoga truly guiding us to awakening? (assuming thats everyones goal, which is a big assumption, I know.) If it is now, does that make it a good idea? What even contributes to our understanding of what is a ‘good idea’ or not? Thats the bigger question.
Before I started teaching “yoga & sound”, I went first to my Yoga Guru and asked him if this pairing was in accordance with the yoga lineage that I am a part of. I then went to my Sound Healing teacher and asked her what she thought about it as well. Both gave me their blessings, their feedback, their assurance that this was an appropriate use of both these tools. Only then did I design the ‘curriculum’ and start teaching “yoga & sound healing”.
When you’re not sure if your work is ultimately contributing to “the greater good”, ask your teachers, your guides, your gurus, ask the Divine. And them be willing to listen.
I am a humble vessel for the Divine and respectfully tread very carefully anytime I create a “new offering”. This is tremendously powerful work.
- Its time to stop being so aloof with the term “yoga” and how it is applied.
- Its time to practice better discernment as we come up with new ideas and how to apply them.
- Its time to not just judge whether something is a good idea or not by how many people show up or come through the door.
- Its time to be willing to live and breathe “Eyes Wide Open” instead of just saying it.
This is my wishlist at this time. Its a personal wishlist, not meant to be coercive, judgmental or derogatory in any way. Just one persons vision of what is happening now and one persons dream of a better tomorrow.
“May you see clearly the path before you. May you understand fully the path behind you. And may you walk with Grace, truth, equanimity, compassion and focus, in the here & now.”