What is Yoga?
Isn't it that thing you do when you all hold hands? Ashok Kumar Banker
I just finished teaching the 8 Limbs of Yoga in my classes over the past 8 weeks. The above quote I used in my description of Samadhi. I love this quote more than just about anything I have read in years because it embraces, in my humble opinion, the true essence of Unity. Also, understand, my idea of heaven is everyone sitting around a camp fire, roasting marshmallows, and singing folk-rock songs.
I would really love to see more movement towards unity and acceptance throughout yoga communities around the globe. Right now I see more division and horrible business practices that only hurt our communities.
How do we do we create this Unity? I believe, with my entire heart chakra, that if we are truly practicing the 8 Limbs, this could easily come into fruition. The kicker is, we all must walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Talking is the easy part and I see people do it every day, but I also see the actions and they don't jive. I'm not saying we can't be allowed some lapse in judgement, it happens, we are human after all, but when it does happen, we can own up to it and make it right.
So, I'll admit it, I used to be anti-some styles of yoga, however, I realized, as a self-proclaimed Yoga Purist that this way of thinking was contradictory to my core belief of Unity, the belief in the overall good. Now I realize, what is good for me may be mumbo jumbo or even blah to someone else. I have always taught, take what you need, leave the rest, but seriously, my ego wanted everyone to resonate with what I had to say. Now that I know better, I understand how this could drive a wedge between teachers and the yoga community as a whole and now I teach only to the audience who is listening.
We all have opinions, but it does not mean our opinion resonates with the next guy, in fact, we might be on opposite ends of the yoga spectrum, but if we are practicing Yoga (not just asana), then we also understand that to speak ill of other teachers, styles, or studios is to NOT practice Unity/Yoga.
After all, isn't it wonderful that there are styles of yoga out there for everyone? Let's not get all up in everyone's chakras and instead, work towards holding hands and embracing our differences.