For some reason through this blog I feel an urge to spurt out all my truth. It has always sat with me wrong how casually and with conviction I have had many yoga practitioners tell me how they don’t bother following the news or paying attention to world events because “ it’s all just so negative “.
If this rings true with your stance then I kindly invite you to dig deep into Svadhyaya (self study) and into the history and roots of yoga.
Often the main thread of the classes I teach is about tuning into mood and sensation, please know that is not to be muddled up with the notion of wrapping yourself up in cotton wool and closing yourself off from reality.
The chances are if you can afford to go to a modern day western yoga class, you are privileged. My classes are very affordable and I keep them that way as I am against how yoga has become (long before I’d ever even heard of a Downward Dog) a luxury hobby.
To ignore or dismiss our geographical, societal and genetic privileges is egocentric and harmful and not at all in line with the ethical codes of yoga.
Consider that if it wasn’t for activism, peaceful protest and stands for social justice, then we wouldn’t even have the yoga that we have grown to identify so deeply with, there was once a time when women were not allowed to take part, and when India was under British rule, the practice was banned entirely by being made illegal, resulting in shocking and saddening consequences.
I feel in this day and age with the world at our fingertips that it is our duty to unite, to speak up and make a stand where we see injustice. For after all, the most frequently seen translation of the Sanskrit word ‘yoga’ is ‘union’.
Note that I am referring to WORLD issues and not just those that we can relate to or that directly affect us.
I know the further down the ladder in life you are the harder it can be to see the bigger picture. I truly do reckon though that if you have time to scroll, you have time to educate yourself and aim to do good, that a little effort goes a long way and that everyone you meet knows more about something than you do, so be curious.
A balanced life is one of both effort and ease.
Here is a list of teachers and activists that I admire who summarize these issues and sentiments much more efficiently and authentically:
Susanna Barkataki, The Yoga Dissident, Tejal Yoga, The Yoga History podcast, Tiwari Yoga and Divyabala Yoga