Tuesday, January 22, 2008


AND understands that yoga is a spiritual practice.

An excerpt:

Dharmanidhi referred to partner yoga as "a joke," rather than "bullshit," but the sentiment seemed the same.) Dharmanidhi, who is a recognized guru and Hindu priest, told me he thinks teachers who use partnering exercises to help their students gain more sensation and awareness "might have their hearts in the right place," but what they're doing isn't yoga. As Dharmanidhi explained it to me, the goal of yoga is to "achieve union with your essence" through a combination of physical and metaphysical means, including postures (asanas), breathing exercises and meditation. (Unlike the impression given by most American yoga classes, physical postures make up a very small part of this package.)

Traditionally, yoga is taught one-on-one, takes years to master and has nothing to do with improving the definition of your shoulder muscles. It also emphasizes emotional detachment, which is difficult to achieve if your head is in someone's junk. But Dharmanidhi's biggest point was this: Yoga is an integral part of Hinduism, and Americanized yoga -- whether it's called Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Vinyasa or anything in between -- is a bastardization of a spiritual practice.

The full article is here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:30 PM

    No way. There's one yoga, and one yogic way of fostering spiritual understanding, the same way there's one Hindu God. Yoga doesn't belong to India, or Dharmanidhi, any more than it belongs to Lululemon. If this is about branding, like Camembert or Champagne, then fine. But the spiritual/non-spiritual duality is just as much an illusion as the mind/body duality.