Occasionally, YAMA or its clients are the subjects of criticism from yogi’s who think that they know the only true & right way to yoga. These critics are quite fond of being outspoken regarding how “non-yogic” they perceive my company or clients to be, or how wrong/inappropriate their particular interpretation of yoga is. The criticism runs the gamut. Whether it is not wanting to sleep on someone’s couch when teaching at a studio (Diva!), being on TV saying “Pat” in reference to Patanjali (Fame seeker/dumbing down yoga!), having an agent help them manage their business, (Yoga isn’t a business! Commercialization is wrong!), seeking opportunity rather than waiting around for it to happen to you (You’re teaching for the wrong reason!), or, actually expecting someone to pay you because they signed a contract agreeing to. (You can’t dress like that in class, you can’t rap that mantra - I can go on for hours about all the negative ish I have heard very talented capable people having about what they dislike about someone else’s yoga.
I have heard it all and if I’d listened to it, I’d never have started YAMA.
The 2012 Yoga in America survey states that 16 million (out of 315 million) Americans in the US practice yoga.
There is an enormous amount of people who have yet to receive this gift.
With statistics like these – how dare we (conscious individuals) waste time criticizing our fellow yogi’s who are working incredibly hard in their own way to bring these tools and messages to the masses? It is only a detriment to focus on throwing stones rather than supporting one another to grow our all our respective yoga businesses (and for the record, if you’re getting paid to teach, you DO have a yoga business).
The more yoga flourishes the more people receive the information. And the more types of messages, the more people will find one that meets them where they are-- from esoteric to street level, and everywhere in-between.
It’s that simple.
Which is why I wholeheartedly embrace, ALL media, accessible language & messaging and diverse images. I may desire a different conversation for my own personal practice – because blessed be - I have already been exposed to the practice, but who am I to say that the sexy Equinox video that gets someone to walk into a yoga studio or translating the Yoga Sutras is wrong?
We must meet people where they are. Whether that is hot power yoga, yoga for weight loss/better sex, broga, doga or whatever. It’s all yoga, baby. I get that some folks want to keep it classical – (our logo is a tree to represent our rooting to the original intent) – but the tree must flower, bloom, and broaden its reach.
Someone is going to be on TV with a message – imprinting and influencing your family, it may as well be a positive one. I’d rather have them hearing about Pat than Lindsay.
I am doing everything in my power to create a world where being healthy is worthy of celebrity, and integrity runs business rather than greed.
It’s not a revolution unless everyone is part of it.
And, with nearly 300 million people in our own back yard who are not part of this revolution – I’d hardly say we can afford to not embrace everyone who wants to spread the good word.