What Yoga is Really About

How to do we bridge the gap of people being abused in what should be the sweetest, most enchanting practice of self discovery and love?


Are we really doing yoga if we abuse others ?

In order to understand how things went southward in the propagation of legitimate yoga education, we need to see where the break down in yoga education has happened on the individual studio level. Yoga has a lack of a centralized entrepreneurial and legislative presence in the United States. This causes individual studio owners to have more control with how they synthesize and present their yoga education programs both for their yoga students and teachers.

While creativity is important in the development of a healthy and efficient yoga curriculum, there are definitely authoritative yogic standards of what matches scientifically as being healthful for human mind and body via the practice of yoga. Let’s say that a lot of studio owners are not really understanding that because they are not referencing these authoritative sources in their yoga education programs. Not only this but like so many communities today, there is abuse, misinformation, discrimination, divisiveness, jealousy, formation of cliques, bullying, and in fighting.

Abusing others creates stress and doesn’t fit into the category of being healthful for human mind or body. Emotional abuse, shouting matches, physical abuse, limiting another persons access to their right and logistics to control and inhabit their own space and life are all negative practices. These practices violate the yamas and niyamas, authoritative guidelines for proper inner and outer yoga practice synthesized by the yogic leader Pataniali sometime around the 5th century. The yamas and niyamas are central focal points in the Vedic text The Yoga Sutras- which may be the most important book on yoga today.

As long as people are having children on earth there will be wars to control resources. How we navigate the world needs to be based on logic and authoritative texts that correlate to basic scientific and mathematical truths, not ideas about creativity not based on the authentic yogic texts.


What is yoga anyway ?

Yoga can be understood in five divisions known as the margas. The margas are organized based on the different propensities of beings to serve one another. It’s a Sanskrit word which means path and it’s definitely connected to identity, karma, and dharma - which are all classical aspects of Hinduistic yoga history and study relayed to the modern world beautifully through the digital age relevant ancient texts of the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. These two texts , synthesized thousands of years ago, are cornerstones of Vedic education which is the foundational house for the creation and propagation of the yogic system, Ayurveda, and India’s original export- the Sanskrit language.

The 5 modernly recognized margas are:

Raja yoga - pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation

nada yoga - sound healing, mantras

hatha yoga- yoga asana, physical poses

jnana yoga- philosophical study of yoga including texts such as Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Yoga Sutras

bhakti yoga - love and devotion as a lifestyle


Questions - !

What is the point ? You have a pick a path and follow it. Abusing others is not key to yoga practice anymore and never has been, so how exactly is it happening ? What qualifies as abuse ? Do yoga programs need to become more trauma sensitive? What are the things that we as Individuals to more honestly engage with the yoga system in our personally practice ? How much are we really engaging with these important yogic texts ?

Matt GoodenComment