What is Yoga Exactly? Does Anyone Really Know?

Interesting article in the NY Times recently:

Is the Spirit of Competition in the Soul of Yoga?

I’ve seen articles about this concept and buzz that it might be added as an Olympic sport.  I don’t really agree with it being called “yoga”–they should just call it “flexibility competition” or something, because yoga is so much more than showing off all the insane contortions you can do with your body.

Rajashree Choudhury, wife of Bikram Choudhury, who created the style of yoga known as Bikram, are trying to build momentum for competitive yoga in the United States.

I personally have a had real problems with Bikhram yoga, based on my own experiences in those classes (too much competition and vanity is encouraged as well as a high rate of injuries) .   Cloudhury and his wife have really turned it into a big trendy, money-making monster.    And yet, if someone is getting a lot of his classes (physically, spiritually,etc) , I’d be the last person to stand in the way.   As a soon-to-be studio owner, I certainly would not look down on having a very popular and profitable business.  But something just doesn’t feel right about it?

While we need to be respectful of the vast and complex philosophical system that yoga is, perhaps we also need to be open-minded about modern and flexible ways to define it.  On another note, here is an interesting article talking about how people in the yoga movement tend to get way too “purist” about how to define yoga…and how many interpretations there are about what yoga really is:

How Old Is Yoga?

Also like the Top 5 Yoga Myths Debunked.

Again, when I launch my own business, all I can try to do is provide my own very limited construct of the yoga philosophy to my students.  My practice will always begin with, and focus on, the exercise and breath…as those are the pathways (in my opinion) to progressing in your meditation and daily spirituality.

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

Posted in Yoga Business