Yoga is in! It should come as no surprise that the demand for yoga teacher training has grown exponentially in recent years. While the Road to Enlightenment is paved with good intentions, it can also be potholed with some sobering realities.
The concept of God is a shaky subject. Add to it the yoga-inspired faith in the God within us all, and you have a huge mess on your hands. Calling yoga non-religious isn't just about altering yoga to make a buck. It is to avoid starting a war.
Leave your sermon at the door. When a person walks into a yoga class, they expect to do yoga. Be careful with your words. Your beliefs are your opinions. Your opinions are your judgments. Judgments do not belong in the yoga room.
I'll let you in on a little secret. The majority of yoga teachers are the most insecure, confused, lost, egotistical and wounded human beings alive. We may not show it, we may do everything to throw you off our scent, but we are.
Using the physical body as the main component of a spiritual practice is newly popular and barely existed just a few decades ago. Prior to that, asana was viewed as a single limb on a larger tree, mostly used as a way to get the body ready to sit in meditation for a long time without distraction.
People are coming to yoga class to get to a better place somehow, and they've chosen your class because they think you might help do that. They want you to succeed. They aren't coming to class to critique you.
Of course, one can stay sober without yoga and meditation. It's just that if you want to lift yourself up out of the energy of addiction and break through to a new level of strength and awareness, one will have to adopt a practice that continues the detoxification process on a much deeper level.
Anyone today who is actively trying to become a Yogalebrity may as well try to become the next Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts. (Ironically, many of them have.) The wave has come and gone. The Yoga Bubble is bursting.
I fear that the yoga community's laissez-faire attitude of "It's all good!" may ultimately become its undoing - because if we don't decide what yoga is and what yoga isn't, then someone is going to decide for us.
Yoga Teachers will sink or swim together. The sooner we figure out a sustainable win-win business model regarding how to freely share the benefits of this rich tradition, the sooner we will all prosper. Ommmmmmmmmmm.
When I signed up for yoga teacher training, I knew benefits would come from it. I would get stronger and more flexible. I would make new friends, gain a better understanding of yoga and eventually be equipped to lead a class. But I had no idea how much happier it would make me.
When I started doing yoga, I loved most of what happened in the classes. One thing I did not love, though, was the chanting of "om." None of my early teachers could explain what it meant or why we were doing it.