The degradation of yoga as a spiritual practice, a path of self-discovery and a science of life in this ‘modern’ society seems to be reaching a point of no return. Yoga has become means to an end, and at that ‘end’ you will no longer find Samadhi, but quite the opposite- an Ego bound state of mind, one seeking fame and recognition instead of dispersion of illusion and a quest for Truth.
It saddens me to see that famous yoga teachers with an unbelievably great social following and, therefore, impact on how yoga is perceived today, are busy creating Instagram asana challenges and promoting new brand of leggings, malas etc. instead of creating some real yoga challenges – those that will inspire someone to truly become a yogi. To seek awareness, detachment and free oneself from Ego traps. To be a better person, one that will help others and help this world find peace and freedom. I can be wrong, but I do believe that a handstand never made anyone a better person.
The yoga of service, devotion, knowledge, transformation – all seem to have been overcast by the yoga of handstand. I am not saying practicing handstands and similar challenging asanas are bad, they are fun and can be beneficial if done correctly, I am just saying that yoga is so much more and we shouldn’t let fancy Instagram photos cloud our judgement and lead us astray.
I really hope the day will come when true yoga and true yogis will be celebrated. I hope the day will come when one of those famous yoga teachers with tens of thousands likes of yet another handstand in a cute outfit or a bikini will create a karma yoga challenge, go out and help someone in need each day for a month and inspire their followers and beyond to do the same. That they will one day feel they should use their social platforms to, instead of meaningless (sorry, but they are) asana challenges, create ‘help the homeless’, ‘feed hungry’, ‘volunteer at a dog shelter’ etc. Instagram challenge. I challenge them to do so. I challenge them to do a REAL YOGA CHALLENGE.
But, who am I to say… My handstands are pretty rusty after all…
‘’Yogasanas and vinyasas are not "tricks" to be learned or performed...let us be aware of how our "likes" and what we are putting out there on FB, instagram, etc are transforming the heart of yoga here in the West.’’ Shiva Rea