Post pandemic – is anyone else asking: ‘What is happening to Yoga?’
As we sit in the aftermath of a seismic shift in lifestyle habits and check out the new normal, is anyone confused about where we go (where yoga goes) from here?
Confusion has plagued my partnership with yoga since I began to fall in love with it around 10 years ago.
Let me explain.
On the one hand as fledgling yoga aspirants we are promised a mind-body practice that addresses life, the struggles of being human. The greatest gift you can give yourself!
But, on the other hand what do we get? What is primarily on offer when searching for the ‘how’? Particularly in middle England!
I’ll tell you what I saw, and what was available to me.
30 to 60-minute asana (posture) practices, performance driven, and anatomy focused. Barely scratching the surface of what Yoga’s vast wisdom offers.
Meditation? Forget it – best go to a Buddhist centre! Savasana – yeah nice to have, but you can skip it! Breathe – yeah in and out (or throw in some random technique for interest) – you’re good to go! Ackkk.
(I’m tearing my soul-smashed heart out as I type!!)
Fortunately for me, (call it stubbornness or tenacity) the curious questioning aspect of myself drove me to go deeper. I kept searching. There had to be more!
Interestingly, I got my answers in lockdown.
An amazing world-renowned teacher offering trainings previously inaccessible to anyone outside Bail went online! I was the first to sign-up. First the 50hr bridge course to complement my basic 200hr and then straight into an advanced 300hr. It was a total 9-month intensive.
Octavio’s fire and passion for traditional practice was (is) contagious. I spent lockdown in student mode. I got the why and the how.
For the first time I had the map, and I was good to share it.
Ali, my daughter took the 200hr training right after and we are now both running this small, independent yoga business called Yoga Local, in Wellingborough (hardly the home of Yoga) but with the heart required to show up and do what needs to be done. To teach and practice yoga as it was meant to be taught. Nothing made-up, not super sexy or innovative but scientific, time-tested, and true to the traditional teachings. Because it works!
But… I look around and wonder…are we as a yoga business, on our own? Where is Yoga going? Are we fighting against the industry itself and the bigger power players now running the show but who know zero about practice.
If I have to explain Yoga is not Pilates or, we are not a gym (you’ll get some of the same basic benefits of a workout -fitness) but a workout is not the goal.
You don’t have to heat the room, bring your dog, be an acrobat, gymnast, or wear lycra.
If I had a pound for every time I explained that traditional Hatha Yoga is not just for the over 70s. But hello, yes, this is Yoga so you can expect to get still and explore that which is more subtle about your nature! And guess what – you won’t be able to. So let’s work on that!
(You can see why I need to 🧘🏼♂️. 🤣)
But seriously. A complete mind-body-spirit practice is Yoga. If we continue to pedal only what is Instagram-friendly or good for a soundbite and fail to share the deeper practices that teach us to master our energy and mind, address the complexity of being human and empower us to thrive – we are selling ourselves short, our students short and this centuries old practice short.
We will only get out of practice what we put in.
Whether we are teachers or students we will only get out of practice what we put in! And I’m asking, is it time to question what we are putting in and where we want Yoga to go?
In order for the yoga practice to be truly impactful in our life, don’t we have to ask ourselves and our students to make time to study and practice the subtler practices like breath, mudra, mantra and Yoga Nidra.
Are we custodians of this spiritual practice that leads to mastery of our minds and energy? Or are we selling our souls and spiritual natures for another seat on a mat, or to get in on the next money-making fad!
Sure, I’m a business, I need to make money to keep doing what I’m doing and sharing what I’m sharing – but not at any cost.
Is anyone else asking – what is happening to Yoga? I’m hoping you’re out there and if not… it’s never too late for a course correction. 🙏
Please join us in our off social – on line community to learn more about how we are helping more people work towards a complete practice that delivers on the promise of Yoga – union, thriving – living life to it’s fullest. All the good stuff.