Just a gentle reminder that the tools and practices of yoga – of any style of yoga – are so much bigger than any one person or persona. There has been so much noise in the media; first about the poorly performed asana and related injuries, then about a supposedly sexually provacative yoga video, then about highly visible yoga leader’s behaviour that I think the whole point of yoga is largely being missed by the mainstream. Focusing on the drama means we miss out on the real value of a sincere yoga practice. As yogis, we must come back to the reason why we practice rather than allowing the chorus of external voices dissuade us from our own path or to create doubt and disharmony.
From my persepective, a yoga practice is ultimately meant to help us to a greater sense of self-trust and self-reliance so that we can weather any challenge we meet. The practice of yoga does not demand that we pledge allegiance or abdicate our own authority to any person or system. As we deepen into the practice, we can see the fruits of the practice in a great many ways – not the least of which is that we consult others less about what is good for us and trust ourselves more.
That path of yoga points us back inward to the source of our own strength. Yoga is not about any one person or method or lineage. We are moving from an era where we abdicate our personal autonomy to some external “leader” or organisation to an era of heart-centered collaboration. Heart-centered collaboration isn’t reliant on a brand or a single person. It is about getting so close to ourselves that we can get close to other people and be of service without fear. To trust that if we get hurt, we can handle it, we can re-group and go on.
I think that yoga teachers are all just guides. They are not moral compasses. For me, I do my best to point each student inward, into more direct contact with their own experience. At the end of the day, it’s really not about me. Ultimately, it’s about the student and their deepening relationship with themselves. I’m merely a guidepost on their path.
I’m on my own path too. I seek out individuals and situations that help me raise my vibration, rather than lower it. In the current climate of media maelstrom, getting on the mat, rather than on the internet to read more controversy, is a way we can move forward as individuals and as a community in the highest way.
“We are all just walking each other home” ~Ram Dass