Peaceful looks of yoga students and gurus, calm ambiance of a yoga class, soft tone of a yoga practitioner’s voice may lead you to a misleading conception of yoga industry. Yes, the INDUSTRY, not the teachings, norms and values. I need to specify the context that what I will write is NOT about all people doing yoga. Overgeneralization is something I truly want to avoid here. And it’s definitely NOT something everyone wants to read. It’s gross, dirty, disgusting, revolting, whatever synonymous word you can find in the dictionary.
This is actually my main reason why I find it hard to decide to teach as a full-time yoga teacher. A friend of mine also feels the same concern. She knew being a professional in the yoga world would pose her to the huge risk of yoga commercialization. To me, I feel a lot more comfortable to teach yoga without having to make it my primary source of income. I won’t, and I simply can’t. There’s something inside of me rejecting such an inclination. I want to teach because I need to share something useful and inspiring. Getting paid is the next priority.
I believe basically all yoga practitioners are good by nature. That’s my hypothesis and I may get affirmation or negation along my yogic journey. Seeing and getting to know some people ensures me the yoga industry is full of great people, but once in a while I get disappointed to know my assumption was challenged and proven wrong.
Manipulations are no strangers in yoga industry. The positive teachings and lessons of yoga suddenly might fade away or get abandoned by both students and gurus alike. So it makes us question:”Does yoga stop when we step off the mat?” Apparently to some, the answer is “yes, it does.”
It therefore is no surprise to learn the bitter fact that yoga gurus are no saints, demi-gods, prophets or deities to worship. They do bring us from darkness to light but in some exceptional cases, gurus also need our help to get out of their own darkness.