It's been a while since I've had the urge to write something in a blogpost, but today I felt like sharing some thoughts. What got my mind working and thoughts running was this podcast I listened to, called 'Yoga is dead podcast'.
Hosted by two Indian American yoga teachers based in New York, they've launched a brand new podcast series, in which they state that yoga is dead and they're gonna tell us who killed it.
Their first episode is entitled 'white women killed yoga'...
Already by the title I'm feeling a bit targeted and disturbed. You know, since I am a white female yoga teacher. But I'm also curious to hear their point of perspective so I start listening. After a few minutes I'm encourage to turn it off, because to me it sounds like a channel for them to poor out their anger and frustration, based on some not-so-good experiences they've encountered. But I keep listening and come to the conclusion that I understand where they're coming from and why this is an important conversation to have. We should always support and listen to people speaking up for their rights, equality and respect in a diverse community. And on many of the points they present, I agree more than I disagree. On their reflections around the rapidly growing yoga industry, to give an example, I totally get where they're coming from and I agree. And I don't consider walking around with mala- beads around my wrist or any other hindu symbolic features as a part of my yoga practice.
I used to thou, I have to admit. But now I know better. Maybe my practice has evolved? Hopefully.
Still there is something that dosen't quite resonate with me, obviously, since I Am a white female yoga teacher and practitioner for that matter. It's something in the way they speak about the subject that makes me feel that I (as white woman) should just give up yoga all in all, cause by being what and who I am I somehow offend their cultural inheritance and south-asian roots. By loving, living and keeping these practices in my life and in the world. I keep listening to their conversation because some part of me recognize that this probably is a feeling people of minority has to deal with all the time, facing so-called white privileged supremacy. A rejection or injustice based on what and who you are or are not.
But from my knowledge and what I've learned from my western yoga teachers, this is everything that yoga is not supposed to be. A cause of judgment, separation and conflict. I really love and appreciate the concept of bringing together, through yoga. Unifying body and mind. Breath and movement. Soul and the divine. Brining people together. East and West. Maybe even across our religious and cultural differences. God knows that's something we need in the world right now, open minded people. All of us standing together, supporting each other against separation, fear, war, pollution and exploitation.
Yes, Yoga originated through Eastern culture and then it became popular in Western culture. It's bringing us together. That's a good thing isn't it? And for people who are not quite there yet, but still stuck in a separated, competitive mindset please give them time and have compassion. They need it the most. I certainly used to be one of them, but the practice is working, I think :)
Through my years of practicing and teaching I have also enjoyed and loved to see how the collective consciousness of yoga is growing. More and more people are practicing and the knowledge and science around yoga is evolving. I think it's beautiful to see how both the philosophy and science on yoga is blooming. And that practitioners all around the world are interested in the holistic, spiritual, mind-body practices.
If a tradition dosen't have any practitioners the tradition will die, right? And yoga as become a practice for everyone interested rather than for just a few and special. I wouldn't say yoga is dead, I'd say Yoga has evolved.
What do you think?