Are we losing sight of the foundations of Yoga?

Images from Sivanada Yoga and Bikram Yoga. 

Images from Sivanada Yoga and Bikram Yoga. 

You cannot deny that yoga has become popular, for many reasons. The benefits of yoga need no convincing with many describing their relationship with yoga as an addiction and something that has helped them deal with life.

 

This has helped The Yoga Industry rake in billions of dollars in sales and millions, if not billions, swearing by this practice.

 

So, how has yoga evolved in the past decade and where is it headed?

 

Many have mixed views about the future of yoga: some worry that The Western World will corrupt the authenticity of what it has to offer the student; however, others have claimed that it will save The Western World and the practitioners.

 

I focus on The Western World because we are so focused on consumerism, buying and spending on things that help us stay happy. Which, many have claimed that yoga does.

 

How did a practice, only practiced by an elite few for thousands of years in India, become so popular in The West recently?

 

You could answer that Bishnu Gosh, Bikram Choudry, Iyengar and Dharma Mittra spreading their knowledge here had something to do with it. But, if yoga was practiced how it used to be , would it be this popular?

 

Let me give you a brief history of yoga. Yoga has dated back to before the first handwriting was discovered over 5000 years ago. Then, The Sutras by Patanjali were written approximately 2000 years ago. Yoga was strictly practiced with a guru and coupled with a strict diet by the practitioner as well as chanting and meditation. Very different to today, there were no yoga stars or veterans due to The British Government’s denial of yoga, the practice was a secret and only for those who were completely devoted to being a student for many years before even thinking of becoming a teacher.

 

A complete contrast to how many may practice today, without a guru and to shed calories, stay happy or keep up with the latest fad. Not to say that all practitioners have adopted this habit; however, this has become the norm.

 

Will this new approach help us lose sight of the foundation of yoga? Or, will it become more inclusive of those who are not able to follow the strict regime that once was?

 

Perdons-nous les fondements du Yoga? 

 

Vous ne pouvez pas nier que le yoga est devenu populaire, pour plusieurs raisons. Les bienfaits du yoga n'ont pas besoin d'être convaincants, et beaucoup décrivent leur relation avec le yoga comme une dépendance et quelque chose qui les a aidés à faire face à la vie.

 

Cela a aidé l'industrie du yoga à récolter des milliards de dollars en ventes et des millions, voire des milliards, en jurant par cette pratique.

 

Alors, comment le yoga a-t-il évolué au cours de la dernière décennie et où va-t-il? Beaucoup ont des opinions mitigées sur l'avenir du yoga: certains s'inquiètent que le monde occidental corrompra l'authenticité de ce qu'il a à offrir à l'étudiant; Cependant, d'autres ont prétendu que cela sauverait le monde occidental et les pratiquants. Je me concentre sur le monde occidental parce que nous sommes tellement concentrés sur le consumérisme, l'achat et les dépenses sur des choses qui nous aident à rester heureux. Lequel, beaucoup ont prétendu que le yoga fait. Comment une pratique, pratiquée seulement par un groupe d'élite pendant des milliers d'années en Inde, est-elle devenue si populaire dans l'Ouest récemment? Vous pourriez répondre que Bishnu Gosh, Bikram Choudry, Iyengar et Dharma Mittra répandant leurs connaissances ici ont quelque chose à voir avec cela. Mais, si le yoga était pratiqué comme il était, serait-ce aussi populaire? Laissez-moi vous donner une brève histoire du yoga. Le yoga remonte à avant que la première écriture ait été découverte il y a plus de 5000 ans. Ensuite, les Soutras de Patanjali ont été écrits il y a environ 2000 ans. Le yoga était strictement pratiqué avec un gourou et couplé avec un régime strict par le pratiquant ainsi que le chant et la méditation. Très différent d'aujourd'hui, il n'y avait pas de stars du yoga ou des vétérans en raison du refus du yoga par le gouvernement britannique, la pratique était un secret et seulement pour ceux qui étaient complètement dévoués à l'étude pendant de nombreuses années avant même de devenir enseignant.

Un contraste complet avec ce que beaucoup peuvent pratiquer aujourd'hui, sans gourou et sans calories, rester heureux ou suivre la dernière mode. Pour ne pas dire que tous les pratiquants ont adopté cette habitude; Cependant, c'est devenu la norme. Les Cette nouvelle approche nous aidera-t-elle à perdre de vue les bases du yoga? Ou, deviendra-t-il plus inclusif de ceux qui ne sont pas capables de suivre le régime strict qui était autrefois? 

 

Estamos perdiendo de vista los fundamentos del Yoga? 

 

No se puede negar que el yoga se ha vuelto popular, por muchas razones. Los beneficios del yoga no necesitan ser convincentes, ya que muchos describen su relación con el yoga como una adicción y algo que les ha ayudado a lidiar con la vida.

 

Esto ha ayudado a The Yoga Industry a obtener miles de millones de dólares en ventas y millones, sino miles de millones, jurando por esta práctica.

 

Entonces, ¿cómo ha evolucionado el yoga en la última década y hacia dónde se dirige? Muchos tienen opiniones encontradas sobre el futuro del yoga: a algunos les preocupa que The Western World corrompa la autenticidad de lo que tiene que ofrecerle al estudiante; sin embargo, otros han afirmado que salvará a The Western World y a los practicantes.

Me concentro en The Western World porque nos centramos tanto en el consumismo, la compra y el gasto en cosas que nos ayudan a mantenernos felices. Que, muchos han afirmado que el yoga lo hace. ¿Cómo fue que una práctica, practicada solo por unos pocos elite durante miles de años en la India, se volvió tan popular en The West recientemente? Podrías responder que Bishnu Gosh, Bikram Choudry, Iyengar y Dharma Mittra difundir sus conocimientos aquí tenían algo que ver con eso. Pero, si el yoga se practicara como solía ser, ¿sería tan popular?

 

Déjame darte una breve historia de yoga. El yoga se remonta a antes de que se descubriera la primera letra hace más de 5000 años. Entonces, Los Sutras de Patanjali fueron escritos hace aproximadamente 2000 años. El yoga se practicaba estrictamente con un gurú y se combinaba con una dieta estricta por parte del practicante, además de cantar y meditar.

 

Muy diferente a hoy, no había estrellas de yoga o veteranos debido a la negación de yoga del Gobierno británico, la práctica era un secreto y solo para aquellos que se habían dedicado por completo a ser estudiantes durante muchos años antes incluso de pensar en convertirse en maestros. Un completo contraste con cuántos pueden practicar hoy, sin un gurú y arrojar calorías, mantenerse felices o mantenerse al día con la última moda. No quiere decir que todos los practicantes hayan adoptado este hábito; sin embargo, esto se ha convertido en la norma.

¿Este nuevo enfoque nos ayudará a perder de vista la base del yoga? O, ¿será más inclusivo para aquellos que no pueden seguir el régimen estricto que alguna vez fue?  

 

 

Dear yoga, I love you

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image by Getty Images  

 

Dear Yoga,


You have been there for me most of my life. However, I fell deeply in love with you when I was in my late teens as I discovered that you can develop my physical and mental character.

When I wanted to numb the pain during a challenging break-up, you taught me that going though pain isn't as dramatic as I had previously thought it to be. You taught me that the same emotions that allow me to smile are those that allow me to cry. Contrary to what I had always believed, smiling isn't better than crying. The emotions that I have when I smile and cry work together to allow me a variety of feelings.

When I hated my body and the way that I looked, you taught me that my body has many more functions than to look pleasing to others. You taught me that my body is doing healthy things for me all the time and you opened me up to have genuine appreciation for my body and my health.

When I was a judgemental and cynical person, you showed me that it is harder to carry negative weight than it is to live with lightness and positivity. You taught me that wanting things to be what others had convinced me was perfect is truly a waste of my time and energy. Through my practice I have learnt that being harsh on myself and others won't bring anything valuable into my life.

When I had stopped believing that I was capable of achieving anything successful in my life, you showed me that I can create my own idea of success. You showed me that to be kind, humble, peaceful, compassionate and content is the type of success that I want to achieve in my life.

Thank you, yoga.

I love you

4 things that all yoga students need to know.

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Image by Getty Images  

 

Although I’ve been a yoga teacher for many years, I started as a student and I will remain a student (first and foremost).

 

As a student, I have learned a few things about how to maximize my yoga practice. And, I would like to share them with you.

 

Don’t get me wrong, my students and other students around me inspire me everyday. However, I have come across students who are almost about to injure themselves or those who are not taking full advantage of the powerful benefits of yoga.

 

This is what I would like all students to know:

 

1. Be true

 

I’m such a fan of students giving their all, it’s very inspiring. But, there’s a fine line between effort and force. You can give 100% effort and be safe but you can’t give 100% force and be safe. If it’s not time to be in the full expression of the pose, give it time. Don’t force anything.

 

2. Enjoy the class.

 

When I first started practicing, I would torment myself in my head. I would ask myself questions like, when will this be over? Why is it so hot in a hot room? What is that smell? Why does the guy next to me keep farting? My mind would let loose. I see my students doing the same thing, letting their minds run their yogic experience. One of the best things that you can do in a yoga class is enjoy it. Enjoying the class can allow your muscles and tension to relax. You might also leave with a smile on your face and a yoga high.

 

3. Learn a bit about anatomy.

 

Yoga teachers are human and with any human, we perfect things over time. Expecting a fresh yoga teacher to know everything is like expecting a baby to walk at two-months-old. When I started practicing, I would get annoyed with teachers for not knowing what they were talking about, only ruining my own practice. I found peace by doing my own research and allowing teachers be human and learn over time.

 

4. Form first.

 

Like I mentioned before, being true to your practice is important. Not being true to someone else’s. It’s great when practitioners are able to do a forearm stand; it’s also great when a practitioner can sit in stillness. Get rid of the notion that you have to hurt and push your body to find peace. You will find your fullest posture expression by working with your anatomy, not someone else’s.

 

4 choses que tous les étudiants de yoga doivent savoir

Bien que je sois professeur de yoga depuis de nombreuses années, j'ai commencé comme étudiant et je resterai un étudiant (avant tout). En tant qu'étudiant, j'ai appris quelques choses sur la façon de maximiser ma pratique du yoga. Et, j'aimerais les partager avec vous. Ne vous méprenez pas, mes étudiants et d'autres étudiants autour de moi m'inspirent tous les jours. Cependant, j'ai rencontré des étudiants qui sont sur le point de se blesser ou qui ne profitent pas pleinement des avantages puissants du yoga. C'est ce que je voudrais que tous les élèves sachent:

1. Soyez vrai

Je suis un fan des étudiants qui donnent tout, c'est très inspirant. Mais, il y a une fine ligne entre l'effort et la force. Vous pouvez donner 100% d'effort et être en sécurité, mais vous ne pouvez pas donner 100% de force et être en sécurité. Si ce n'est pas le moment d'être dans la pleine expression de la pose, donnez-lui le temps. Ne forcez rien.

 

2. Profitez de la classe.

Quand j'ai commencé à pratiquer, je me torturais dans ma tête. Je me poserais des questions comme, quand cela sera-t-il terminé? Pourquoi est-il si chaud dans une pièce chaude? Quelle est cette odeur? Pourquoi le gars à côté de moi continue à péter? Mon esprit allait se déchaîner. Je vois mes étudiants faire la même chose, laissant leurs esprits courir leur expérience de yoga. Une des meilleures choses que vous pouvez faire dans un cours de yoga est d'en profiter. Profiter de la classe peut permettre à vos muscles et à votre tension de se détendre. Vous pouvez également partir avec un sourire sur votre visage et un yoga élevé.

 

3. En savoir un peu plus sur l'anatomie.

Les professeurs de yoga sont humains et avec n'importe quel humain, nous perfectionnons les choses au fil du temps. S'attendre à ce qu'un nouveau professeur de yoga sache tout, c'est comme attendre un bébé à marcher à deux mois. Quand je commençais à pratiquer, je me fâchais avec les professeurs de ne pas savoir de quoi ils parlaient, ne faisant que ruiner ma propre pratique. J'ai trouvé la paix en faisant mes propres recherches et en permettant aux enseignants d'être humains et d'apprendre avec le temps.

 

4. Formez d'abord.

Comme je l'ai déjà mentionné, il est important d'être fidèle à votre pratique. Ne pas être fidèle à quelqu'un d'autre. C'est génial quand les pratiquants sont capables de faire un stand d'avant-bras; c'est aussi génial quand un pratiquant peut s'asseoir dans le calme. Débarrassez-vous de la notion que vous devez blesser et pousser votre corps à trouver la paix. Vous trouverez votre expression de posture la plus complète en travaillant avec votre anatomie, pas celle de quelqu'un d'autre.

 

 4 cosas que todos los estudiantes de yoga necesitan saber

 

A pesar de que he sido profesor de yoga durante muchos años, comencé como estudiante y seguiré siendo un estudiante (en primer lugar).

Como estudiante, aprendí algunas cosas sobre cómo maximizar mi práctica de yoga. Y me gustaría compartirlos con usted. No me malinterpreten, mis estudiantes y otros estudiantes a mi alrededor me inspiran todos los días. Sin embargo, me he encontrado con estudiantes que están a punto de lastimarse o que no aprovechan al máximo los poderosos beneficios del yoga. Esto es lo que me gustaría que todos los estudiantes supieran:

1. Sé verdadero

Soy tan fanático de que los estudiantes lo den todo, es muy inspirador. Pero, hay una delgada línea entre el esfuerzo y la fuerza. Puedes dar el 100% de esfuerzo y estar seguro pero no puedes dar el 100% de fuerza y  estar a salvo. Si no es el momento de estar en la expresión completa de la pose, dale tiempo. No fuerces nada.

 

2. Disfruta la clase.

Cuando comencé a practicar, me atormentaba en mi cabeza. Me haría preguntas , ¿cuándo terminará esto? ¿Por qué hace tanto calor en una habitación caliente? ¿Que es ese olor? ¿Por qué el hombre a mi lado sigue tirando un pedo? Mi mente soltaría. Veo a mis alumnos haciendo lo mismo, dejando que sus mentes ejecuten su experiencia de yoga. Una de las mejores cosas que puedes hacer en una clase de yoga es disfrutarlo. Disfrutar de la clase puede permitir que tus músculos y tensión se relajen. También puede irse con una sonrisa en la cara y un yoga alto.

 

3. Aprende un poco sobre la anatomía.

Los profesores de yoga son humanos y con cualquier ser humano, perfeccionamos las cosas con el tiempo. Esperar que un maestro de yoga nuevo sepa todo es como esperar que un bebé camine a los dos meses de edad. Cuando comencé a practicar, me molestaba con los maestros por no saber de qué estaban hablando, solo arruinando mi propia práctica. Encontré la paz haciendo mi propia investigación y permitiendo que los maestros sean humanos y aprendan con el tiempo.

 

4. Forma primero.

Como mencioné antes, ser fiel a tu práctica es importante. No ser fiel a los de otra persona. Es genial cuando los practicantes son capaces de hacer una parada de antebrazo; también es genial cuando un practicante puede sentarse en quietud. Deshágase de la idea de que tiene que herir y empujar a su cuerpo para encontrar la paz. Encontrarás la expresión más completa de tu postura trabajando con tu anatomía, no con la de otra persona.

Somethings to consider before you buy a yoga mat.

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 Do I need a yoga mat?

This is an important question to consider. On one hand, a yoga mat isn’t actually a requirement to practice yoga, in fact, some prefer to go matless for a variety of reasons. With the rise in popularity of outdoor yoga, some people find that they connect better with various surfaces without anything between them and the ground.

On the other hand, a yoga mat is a great reminder of your orientation within a room and can serve as a guideline to stay aligned during harder yoga flows. Other people find that their mat creates a boundary of personal space and that the mat indicates their specific area in the studio. And of course, some of us who sweat more find mats to be a more safe option to avoid slipping.

•Finding a mat that’s right for you

For the majority of us, using a mat is the way to go, but the search for a great one can be exhausting. So many yoga mats seem extremely similar, yet the options and features out there are endless. There is no singular perfect mat for everybody, but finding what’s best for your needs can help facilitate mental and physical advances in your practice.

The team at Reviews.com spent hours researching dozens of mats, focusing on the unique needs of different types of yogis and practices. After consulting professionals and looking at existing research, they determined a few important factors when looking for a great mat for your practice:


•Texture

We’ve all seen the yoga mat section of a sporting goods store: bright colors, beautiful designs and all kinds of textures to choose from. Does any of that really matter? As it turns out, it might. While the design of the mat comes down to personal preference, some people find that a more detailed texture on their mat helps with grip quite a bit. If that’s something that is important to your practice, you’ll want to opt for a mat with more texture for a better grip.


•Material

Many of the most popular mats on the market are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This works great in normal classes for many yogis, but there are other options. For an eco-friendly material (or if you just like a different feel), you can check out mats made of natural recycled rubber, resin, bamboo, hemp, jute or cotton. These are also great options if you’re looking to branch out and try something new.

•Thickness

One of the most important parts of yoga is balance and strength.There is evidence that a regular yoga practice can improve balance. Of course, a super-thick mat can make it hard to hit harder poses, where a very thin mat may not provide enough cushion to keep you comfortable during class. Mats tend to range from 1/16 of an inch to ¼ of an inch (and even thicker), so there’s enough variety to suit many different yogis’ preferences.

•Mat surface

One option you’ll have as you look at various materials is the cell structure. This refers to whether or not moisture is absorbed into the mat, and cells can be open or closed. Closed-cell mats don’t absorb moisture well, so anything that gets on the mat tends to stay on the surface. This tends to make them easy to wipe clean for those who don’t have lots of time for mat maintenance. Open-cell mats are more absorbent, which is great for classes where you’ll sweat more, as it will help the surface stay more dry.

When it comes down to it, the yoga mat that’s best for you depends on your unique needs. Keeping these factors in mind can help you navigate all of the options out there and find a great mat for your practice. To check out the mats that Reviews.com recommends and to see their findings, take a peek here: https://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/

 

This article was sourced by www.reviews.com.  

Editted by Hali Tsotetsi

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Where did Bikram go?

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Photo courtesy of GQ magazine

 

 

Over the past five years, we have seen the dark side of Bikram Choudhury come to light.

 

It all began when former students like Sarah Baughn and Larissa Anderson bravely came forward with their stories about being physically assaulted by The Bikram Yoga Founder. This was followed by many others coming forward as well as Vanity Fair publishing an article on him that caused a lot of controversy.

 

This article, which was published in December 2013, clearly describes Mr. Choudhury as someone who took advantage of his former students. The controversial article mentions the different phrases that Bikram used to lure his former students into sleeping with him or blatantly raping them. 

 

Sara Baughn was interviewed by ABC news alleging that she was forced to engage in sexual intercourse with Bikram while his wife and kids were asleep upstairs in his California mansion.

 

Bikram was later interviewed by ABC news claiming that the allegations were due to American people wanting to defame him and what he has done for this country. He seems like has no remorse for what has happened; however, he turns it around to blame the women and this country for thinking such a thing of him.He claims that his yoga has helped heal many, including former President Johnson, from illnesses that Western doctors were not able to.

 

As someone who practices this type of yoga at least four times a week, I was dis-heartened to believe the allegations. I wondered how someone who gave so much to The Yoga Community behave in such a savage way, allegedly. Truthfully, the twenty-six postures and two breathing exercises helped me through two big heartbreaks, job- changes and life.

 

My wonder led me to find out what had happened to Bikram and where he is now. You might be asking, why I care? I care because I have noticed a trend in this celebrity-world that is a love or hate. People fall off the map of our minds once they are no longer significant to us. Can we still love someone and appreciate them for what they have taught and shown us regardless of their wrong-doingings?

 

After googling Bikram Choudhury, I found out that he is in India. I wondered how he could end up back in India after establishing a life here with his wife and kids? I also found out that he is now divorced and owes his former employee, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, $7 million according to another Vanity Fair article.

 

Ms. Jafa-Bodden claimed that she was the lawyer who had to deal with Bikram's allegations and was treated inhumanely by Mr. Choudhury. She also sued him based on being inappropriately touched and violated by The Yoga Champion. Her lawyer, Aaron Osten, says that Bikram threatened her life and family.

 

As many others came forward in the lawsuit against Mr. Choudhury, a California Judge warranted an arrest for Bikram Choudhury on the grounds of sexual harassment and unfair dismissal of Ms. Jafa-Bodden. However, instead of co-operating with the California legal system, Bikram Choudhury fled to India - where he has not been able to be located.

 

 

His wife, Rajeshree Choudhury, filed for legal separation and then divorced him in 2016. 'In the past few years, The Bikram community knew that they were not really married', says a source who owns a Bikram studio.

 

As for the people who own Bikram studios? Many are ecstatic that they can attract new customers with the addition of hot Pilates, hot vinyasa or other additions.

As many hot studios change their name, some other studios worry that this is how Bikram Yoga will be remembered and associated with.

 

So, can we know what we know about the creator of this practice and still practice it?