Modern yoga has gotten way out of hand, sorry not sorry.

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Photo cred: pexels.com

Sorry not sorry, but if you disagree with the title of this article and it somehow offends you, then you probably shouldn’t read on. If you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’d like to begin by saying that I am by no means perfect. At times, I have fallen victim to the things I’m critical of, but I believe there’s a level of awareness that we’re lacking and I want to take the time to outwardly spread this message that I find so eminently crucial.

There has been a modern explosion of yoga, meditation, the hippie lifestyle, etc. since the early 2000’s and that’s great. With this progressive global shift concerning spirituality and expansion of consciousness brings a rise in popularity of yoga and meditation – which is fantastic. Heck, I think everyone should practice yoga and meditation. However, with this rapidly growing trend and commercialization of yoga, in particular, we’re quickly losing sight of what the practice intrinsically is.

When we feel the need to document every single yoga or meditation session that we do, we’re losing the intention behind why we practice in the first place. Plain and simple as that. There’s absolutely no way you can argue this.

It’s becoming less and less about the core of what it is and more about the trendy and highly sought after facade. People take compulsory measures to document their every move and advertise it to social media as if they’re buddha themselves.

Now listen, like I said, I have fallen victim to this myself, but there’s arguably a line. And not even just that, but there’s discernible intent.

I went to a couple outdoor yoga classes at Canalside in Buffalo, NY and we’d literally be in the middle of class and people would be snapping pictures of each other in poses they deemed worthy enough to post for likes. And the same thing happened at an outdoor class I attended in Pittsburgh, everyone was snapping away. And I’m like…you’re kidding, right? Can we not just do yoga to do yoga?! To do it for ourselves? Why in the world are you interrupting your practice FOR A PICTURE?! Why is there this insane craving to be the most zen or the most talented yogi? Why is there a sense of extreme desperation to present this image to the world? How have we gotten so far away from what yoga actually is?

Going back to discernment, there are people who are legitimate about their intentions and those who aren’t. I’d say it’s fairly easy to tell from vibes alone which direction a person swings. And when it comes to an inauthentic approach, keen eyes can see that an individual’s intentions have little to do with yoga itself and more to do with an inflated or insecure ego driving her actions and need for approval. If you are you and you are being your true, authentic, and beautiful self – the world will undoubtedly know, so there’s no need to be disingenuous.

And now there’s this ridiculous new trend emerging called beer yoga, which I think is nonsense. Like, you actually have to be kidding me at this point. Commercialization has gone way too far. The industry is obviously desperate to capitalize wherever they can and this new market is presenting themselves with an opportunity to target alcohol-consuming people who may not do yoga otherwise. I could go on for days about this, but to keep it short, in no way is beer yoga aligned with yoga’s true values. Beer + yoga are on opposite sides of the spectrum and couldn’t possibly be more different and unrelated. Any relevance is nonexistent.

It’s all getting lost in translation. And you know what? For those of you who only want to do yoga for the sake of proving to others that you can hold some crazy “cool” pose, please don’t call yourself a yogi. And for those of you who don’t believe in the spiritual aspect of yoga, then please don’t call what you are doing yoga. Sorry to be blunt, but call it what it is – you’re stretching. Yoga is spiritual in nature and it’s derived from a place of spirituality, Google it. It’s all about authentic intent. Sorry not sorry.

With any trendy thing, we get to a point where we just do it to do it and often times, we don’t even understand why we’re doing it. But we do it for a number of reasons: all of our friends are doing it, it’s the cool thing to do, we want to conform and be a part of something that is promoted to be “trendy”, etc. We see what other people have gained whether it’s a killer beach body, insta-famous status, or mastering all of the most difficult poses and subconsciously, it’s easy to follow suit without any awareness of what is driving our motives. Aspiring to better yourself is phenomenal and seldom discouraged, but it’s immensely important to never lose sight of your individuality and contentment for doing something entirely for yourself.

On a final note, here’s an article written by an academic who studies the ancient texts of yoga. I’m with him when he says, “I’m wary of condemning things that make people relaxed, happy, and peaceful.” I understand the defense, who am I to judge? I’m not going to lie, my piece is opinionated and I anticipate that I may rub some individuals the wrong way. On the contrary, I feel that this message is far too important to be left unsaid. My sole purpose in writing this is to raise awareness of how we’ve tragically lost sight of yoga’s truest purpose. Most of all, I hope it inspires you to 1) be conscious of your intentions, 2) think twice before habitually turning to social media, 3) do it for yourself rather than for the acceptance and approval of others, and 4) cultivate a deeper respect and understanding of this ancient, spiritual practice.

Until next time {xo},

hippieseoul

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  One thought on “Modern yoga has gotten way out of hand, sorry not sorry.

  1. May 14, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Yoga forever! Lol

    Like

  2. June 8, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Agree, have written so much about this myself!

    Liked by 1 person

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