Modern Yoga

Leave Modern Yoga Alone

If it empowers, then leave it alone. Let go of the yoga snobbery and focus on your own journey - By James Adams

Reading time: 3 minutes

This perhaps a more earnest article, concerning how modern branches yoga have been negatively evaluated by some traditional yoga practitioners.

There are many branches of yoga available in our digitally connected world.

Some yoga disciplines have more ancient roots, with cultural origins in China (Yin Yoga) and India. More modern forms of yoga have origins in western countries.

Some yoga disciplines focus on meditation alone. Other may be completely devotional, such as Bhakti Yoga. Some may involve pure exercise, in the form of asana postures.

Yoga has become a very diverse spectrum. Some yoga paths are more rigorous than others. Some have an overarching goal to dissolve the ego, such that the aspirant can yoke with the higher self. Some yoga paths have no such goal.

Regardless of this, there is one universal truth concerning yoga:

The yoga finds you.

In other words, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. The teacher may not be a person. It may be a yoga path.

If the soul is seeking a more traditional form of yoga that focuses on deep purification and union with the higher self, then a more traditional and ancient yoga path will present itself to you.

This is exactly what happened to me. I had reached a point on my spiritual journey where a more rigorous and disciplined spiritual practice was needed to break old, karmic cycles. My soul was seeking a purification catalyst. A way to release wordly attachments and ascend in consciousness. A local Sivananda Yoga class found it's way to my Facebook wall, along with a lovely and highly skilled Sivananda Yoga teacher.

Sivananda Yoga is based on the ancient principles of yoga. It uses a combination of pranayama, meditation and asana postures to catalyse the spiritual journey of self and attain deep purification. Sivananda Yoga may not be for everyone.

Alternatively, if your soul is seeking something less rigorous, perhaps a healthier lifestyle, or even opportunities to meet like minded people, then a modern form of yoga may make itself known. Every path is equal. There is no need to judge yoga.

The universe will always provide what is needed. This is done in accordance with the law of attraction. Seek and you shall attract.

I have come across senior yoga masters and teachers who have openly criticised modern forms of yoga, such as hot yoga and power yoga. Apparently these branches of yoga are a direct insult to the true origins of yoga.

Perhaps they do not lead to purification, or help to quieten the mind, but please let go of the yoga snobbery.

If I may say so, judging yoga in this way could be another manifestation of ego. It's always worth developing awareness of the ego's clever tricks. It may begin to mould itself into a spiritual ego. It can sometimes creep through the back door and disguise itself as spiritual wisdom. Even the most senior yoga masters are prone to this.

The correct yoga path will find you.

Live and let live.

James Adams

Student of life