So this Yoga that we do, and love has changed dramatically in the last 35 years. It has exploded. Like an amazing fungus.
In parts exquisitely beautiful, and in other ways quite grotesque.
All of us who love and practice Yoga probably can agree on one thing, everybody is welcome to Yoga. It is for anyone. There are no barriers of religion, race, gender, creed, socio-political position, or physical ability.
So the explosion of Yoga has meant mass access, not evenly distributed through the population, but far more widespread than it was 20 years ago. Yoga is trendy. Yoga is sexy. Yoga is IN. Great, maybe.
Does it matter what type or style of Yoga that you do? Yes, it does. Like food, there’s lots of food out there that you could eat, and yes, it makes a difference what you eat. A diet of McDonald's is going to have a different effect than a diet of wholefoods.
McDonald's will fill you up and possibly be quite satisfying in the short term, however, it’s not going to give the long-term result of good health.
The same could be said for Yoga. There are some styles and that may offer satisfying short-term results, but in fact, may not offer sustainable wellbeing.
Why and how has this come about? Well, Yoga has become a highly desirable, marketable commodity. It’s a huge industry, and in that massive growth, Yoga has become seriously uprooted. The surface layer of the practice has been scooped up, and fancied up and laid on the table as a glittery object for sale.
Of course, in amongst it all is the love of Yoga. Most everyone who becomes a Yoga teacher comes via loving Yoga first, which is a beautiful thing. So they love it so much they want to go further, and here we have a problem. Rather than 'going further' being deepening study as a student, the further is now becoming sign up for a 200-hour teacher training.
200 hr is a very short time to become a teacher in anything. Making this situation even riskier is the amazing marketing behind these 200 hr training. It's impressive and competitive. Luxury locations or super cheap deals make these training super accessible. You can train to be a Yoga Teacher online, yes, no people, for $397. Or the other end of the scale throw in luxury accommodation, daily massages, and exquisite food in beautiful Bali for thousands.
So what we are now seeing in the Yoga world is beautiful, sincere Yogis, who love Yoga so much they have trained to be a teacher, in just 200 hours. With this limited knowledge, they are often sent on their merry way, without even a mentor. To teach. They often start teaching beginners because that seems the easiest to teach. So unfortunately we have a marketplace flooded with in-experienced people teaching the surface layer of Yoga to people who most need to start on the right foot.
Images like this are now becoming the norm of what people see as Yoga. It is so far from the truth.