The biggest risk of yoga is change
I’m still thinking about that article, which I initially posted about here. Scott Stroud and I take class together on Tuesday nights, and in the car on the way home, he showed me the pictures from the article. OMG those guys, the NYT. As my teacher points out in his response, the paper is trying to increase sales and Mr. Broad is trying to sell books.
I know that’s real, but gross!
John also linked us to the best response I’ve read yet to Broad’s ridiculous piece of poorly edited journalism, from the Ashtanga Yoga Center of New York. I love every word, including his or her slam on Teacher Training Programs and that girl singing The Clash. Like the author, I remember the days of doing yoga, also in New York (for me in mid-nineties) when you could not buy a yoga mat, and when Lululemon’s owner was in Japan selling skateboards to another rich market.
Two best quotes of his/hers:
When there is a great potential for making money, quality is usually the first thing to be sacrificed. Fast food, anyone? It is unfortunate that this is exactly what we are facing now – yoga has been McDona-fied. It has been reduced from a practice that traditionally demanded dedication, discipline, sacrifice, humility, surrender, love, devotion, and self-investigation – and yes, suffering through rigorous practice – to something that one can now learn to teach in a weekend.
I would edit in “sometimes” in front of “suffering” or replace “suffering” altogether with “a lot of work”.
I also totally hearted the conclusion:
To live a life of self-examination is not always an easy thing. But that does not mean that it is not joyous, or have its own rewards, for it can be both of those things.
I made the decision several years ago to change the name of our 200-hour Teacher Training Program to be called Advanced Studies, for this is more accurate a term describing what happens in all Boundless’s Advanced Studies Programs. And, as I reminded my Boundless Yoga class last Saturday, we have been working at Boundless for 10 years to create an environment where everyone learns safely, feels challenged (both mentally and physically), and evolves. I don’t see any reason to do yoga except for these things. I want to evolve, and I want you to do that with me.
That yoga has become, for many who cannot escape the consumer trap of wanting my yoga my way, a drive-through experience, speaks to the fact that change is scary and involves loss. For those of us at Boundless — for those who teach here and who stay for a while to practice with us — we get that we’re in this body not only to own it, but to know it. We are also in it to feel exactly what our AYNY author said, that:
feeling of freshness, of being clean and free, of feeling that a whole, new world was opening in me.