There have been some big conversations lately in Yoga relating to a new yoga book, a yoga ‘scandal’ and other assorted events that have the yoga community buzzing about ethics, safety, and confidence in the practice. Although I have been sharing some of these items on our Facebook page, I must tell you that I have no opinion on any of these subjects. In fact, quite frankly I’m tired of opinions – others’ and my own. Why is my perspective on a book or someone’s personal journey required? Yoga is not about agreement, faith, or opinion. Yoga is about direct personal experience.
In all walks of life, not just yoga, those who stand on the larger stage nationally or internationally have personal struggles just like those of us in the audience. And for those on the stage their struggles are often very public. Our celebrated teachers are often ‘larger than life’ (which really is almost a requirement to get on the stage in the first place) and therefore their personal struggles are often larger than life too. This makes for great fodder for the blogs and opinionaters, but take a moment to consider how it would feel if you were struggling, and we all do, and your embarrassing actions or dubious decisions were put out there for the whole world to see?
Whether or not I agree with the latest book, the fallen guru, or the latest trend in Yoga, my opinion doesn’t count. What does count is my own practice, and my commitment to following the path that is right for me given my needs, aims, and life journey. If my eyes are always turned to the mat beside me, or the cover of Yoga Journal, or the latest internet update, then can I really be present for my own personal practice? This doesn’t mean that I don’t wish to be aware of what is happening in the larger yoga community. However, rather than get drawn into the vortex of gossip, comparing and questioning, I’d rather take my questions and concerns back to my own life, my own practice, and my own evolution.
For me, anything other than this is just gossip and opinion – and my opinions won’t take me any further along in my journey, they won’t connect me deeper to my heart, and they won’t keep me warm at night.
But, that’s just my opinion.