I visited the Yoga Dork website and read an article called “Am I Misappropriating Yoga?” J. Brown, a veteran yoga teacher based in Brooklyn writes eloquently, and the topics discussed in his essay interest me.
At first, I felt compelled to express my personal views on the topics of misappropriation and commercialization of yoga. But after meditating, I feel more compelled to project my energy into the discussion. This means I feel less urgency to voice my opinion and more urgency to send a high-frequency vibration rippling through the middle of a stormy debate. It is less important for me to have others understand my personal opinions; it is more important that others feel blessed by whatever truth I have to share.
Yoga began long ago in a place we know of as India. Yoga started long, long, long before that. Yoga is timeless. We are timeless.
Yogi Bhajan taught us to learn by blessing rather than learning by questioning. For a long time I felt uncomfortable with, and felt lots of resistance to, this idea of learning by blessing. I have been educated to think critically, to question everything I hear and read, to take nothing at face value but to filter every thought and idea through a process of careful analysis.
So, why would I ever want to “learn by blessing?” What is the use of learning by blessing?
In his essay, J. Brown mentions how Hindus and Yoga scholars are growing increasingly frustrated with the contemporary portrayals of yoga on Instragram. The commercialization of yoga troubles countless people within and outside the yoga world. Yoga has become an industry. As the wife of a lawyer, I am also made sensitive to the fact that it is a very under-regulated industry. People are getting away with all kinds of suspicious programs that they tout as yoga trainings and certification programs. But really, how authentic are all these programs and what are they teaching?
In this maelstrom of yogamania, disagreements and fraud are bound to grow. Polarity constitutes a major aspect of the human experience. There is no such thing as authenticity without such a thing as fraud. So, I found this situation an interesting one to try to apply Yogi Bhajan’s teaching that a yogi can “learn by blessing.”
I wrote a comment at the bottom of J. Brown’s article that I will echo here on my blog.
Bless the Capitalists. Bless the Imperialists. Bless the forefathers of Yoga. Bless those who worship Kali. Bless the yoga scholars. Bless yoga practitioners. Bless yoga masters. Bless yoga beginners. Bless the users on Instagram. Bless yoga. Bless yoga tradition. Bless yoga transformation. Bless you. Bless me. Bless the dead. Bless the unborn.
I feel gratitude to J. Brown for helping me clear up my mind and heart reflecting on these ideas.
What have I learned from all this blessing?
By blessing the mess of beings touched by yoga and touching yoga, I feel I become more conscious of the Big Picture of yoga. I feel that I become more aware that each player in this universe has an infinite story, and if I were to live their story, I would completely empathize with their perspective. So, to each and every being, I offer all the compassion I can muster in my Mother-heart.
Isn’t it a wonder that the Creator of All That Is and Was and Will Be had the grace to give humanity Yoga and Prayer Mudra and the Flower of Life and the blogosphere and….?!