My wish for Yoga in 2016

It has certainly been an interesting year in the yoga world. We have seen an unprecedented rise in the selfie craze, commercialized yoga websites, and disturbing trends of mixing alcohol with yoga practice.

In all this craziness, some good has come out of it. There are more people than ever practicing some form of yoga and the practice has been absorbed into mainstream Western culture. And there is more access to yoga information now than in any other time in history. You can simply find and read the main yogic texts online from where you are sitting without paying a dime.

That is both good and bad. Because information is now so readily available, we tend to assign less value to it. There used to be a time when knowledge and information was something you had to work hard to get. The trick was that when the information was obtained, the actual information did not matter as much as the process to get it. It is one thing to gloss over the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, but another to commit them to memory in Sanskrit.

One of the authors I “grew up” with in my spiritual path was Carlos Casteneda. He has since drawn much criticism about being a sham. However, in my opinion his writings reflect the true hardships of what is needed to attain spiritual knowledge. He says:

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it might never live to regret it.
Read more at http://www.quoteoasis.com/authors/c/carlos_castaneda_quotes_2.html#5QdDoVc6cbGrXrAC.99
and..
Nothing in this world is a gift. Whatever must be learned must be learned the hard way.
Read more at http://www.quoteoasis.com/authors/c/carlos_castaneda_quotes_2.html#5QdDoVc6cbGrXrAC.99
We are now in an era where one can be a yoga teacher less than a year after walking into a studio with no experience. Old teachings are being devalued in this information age. “Learning the hard way” is now becoming outdated in this time where everyone gets a medal for participating, and people are quick to take offense. There is even a movement to devalue yoga as “modern and postural” from people who don’t even practice.
So my wish for Yoga in 2016 is for people to simplify their practice. Go back to the old texts and re-read them. Study with teachers with over 10 years of experience. Relearn the poses in the front of the book, and don’t be in too much a rush to do the fancy ones.  Don’t get caught up into the social-mediaization of yoga. And most importantly, remember Yoga is a deeply internal practice…a practice designed to destroy the ego, not bolster it.
Many blessings in 2016!
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6 thoughts on “My wish for Yoga in 2016

  1. umphette

    So true. As a relatively new practitioner (4 years) I have seen a huge rise in the yoga ‘trend’. I remember researching sun salutations before my introduction class (just so I didn’t appear completely in the dark) and came up a blank. Nothing. Now the same search in 2015 finds multitudes of ‘hits’ for this and any other related topic. My hope for 2016 is to continue my practice the old fashioned way, gradually and authentically. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Felicity green

    I agree totally . To be an instructor may take three years and you still no very little about Yoga because it is a life changing process not a series of physical exercises. These may help on a superficial level. To be a teacher means your life has changed you know the Sutras and the philosophical basis that underlies all the asanas

    Liked by 1 person

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