Tag Archives: yoga in america

Yoga Alliance Approved, My Ass

I was shocked to notice that they advertised their yoga teacher training programs as “Yoga Alliance Approved.” Misrepresentations like this are the dirty little secret of the yoga industry. No one really wants to admit there is no accreditation for Yoga…What no one ever seems to acknowledge or mention is that the YA provides no oversight whatsoever. No one checks to see if anyone is actually doing what they say. Everyone is on the “honor” system. Consequently, the registry amounts to a digital rubber stamp or paid advertising. Not to mention, the YA does not disclose what they do with the money they collect from the Yoga community.  read full article

-J. Brown

 

Some other percentage of the student base is unaware of the ruse. They mistakenly believe that a YA certification creates a minimum standard of competency on which they can rely. In other words, they may think they are eating Certified Organic peaches when, in fact, they are not.       continue

-Kerry Wills

 

Independent Yoga Educators of America

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Western Yoga Guilt: Should I wear a mala?

Malas:  The New Yoga Status Symbol
via Yoga Modern by

Whether you’re male, or female fashion is a great way to express creativity, and personality on a daily basis.

While I love bringing a sense of style into my yoga practice, I am not so sure how I feel about bringing yoga into my style. 

I have noticed an increasing amount of individuals sporting malas through out studios and community events, and I wonder if they are being worn as a symbol of devotion or merely as a fashion statement.  While searching the yogasphere I came across a mock ad on Yoga Dawg that poked fun at how sacred objects are often commercialized and treated by “western yogis” as trendy accessories rather than worn for their intended spiritual purpose.

The YogaDawg Sadhu Fall Collection

Top to Bottom

Vedic Face Paint
Lotus Joy Premium Yoga Club
Mellow Yellow Chakra Yoga Shirt
Holy Moly Far Out Yoga Bead Set
Mellow Yellow Chakra Yoga Pants

While it is common in the Hindu religion to wear malas around the neck, it is typically used to practice devotion towards a deity. Malas are used to express one’s respect and service to that god, and it’s considered disrespectful to wear the beads flippantly or without intention. Devotees are expected to be disciplined in spiritual practices that are deserving of the malas and the blessings they come with.

For example, many people wear the rudraksha mala in observance of the Lord Shiva. Devotees take certain measures that show respect, including the use of rituals and prayers to purify the beads, and they remove the beads when consuming alcohol, attending a funeral, having sex, and for women during menstruation.

I know very few yogis in the United States who take the same precautions when adorning themselves with malas. Most of us aren’t even aware that such precautions exist. continue reading

Slate: Writing about yoga is as popular as practicing it

Navel Gazing

In the post Eat, Pray, Love world, the yoga memoir—or yogoir—has become its own lively sub-genre.

By Laura MoserUpdated Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011, at 7:15 AM ET

As anyone who’s practiced yoga in a studio abutting an Arby’s can attest, the ancient Indian tradition has hit the big time in the United States. Yoga is a $5.7 billion global industry, with an estimated 15 million Americans professing to some sort of yoga practice (though that number looks awfully low to me). And since the 2006 publication of Elizabeth Gilbert’s blockbuster memoir Eat, Pray, Love, another trend has surfaced: the profusion of searching first-person narratives of yogic self-betterment. (In case you’re one of the five people who hasn’t read or seen Eat, Pray, Love, the basic gist is: Successful but unfulfilled thirtysomething writer chucks it all, marriage included, and travels the world to reclaim lost joie de vivre, spirituality, and so on. Revelations ensue.)

Even in their modern incarnation, confessional yoga-themed memoirs have a longer history than Elizabeth Gilbert’s conjugal unhappiness. Three years before Eat, Pray, Love, the actress Mariel Hemingway published the turgid Finding My Balance: A Memoir with Yoga, which pairs the formative events of her past with favorite poses from her yoga practice. (“Today is the day after the horrifying terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. … I feel the grief and shock through all my body as I stand here in Mountain pose.”) In 2005 there was Lucy Edge’s Yoga School Dropout, which chronicles, in rather exhaustive detail, the ashram-hopping adventures of a former London ad exec who goes to India in search of enlightenment, the perfect yoga butt, or at the very least a husband.  read on

The Most Unusual Places for Yoga via Yoga Download

Yoga flash mobs and yoga in Heathrow airport…

Put your yoga where your mouth/wallet/etc. is

A couple of well-timed blog posts at Think Body Electric and Tikkun Daily.

An excerpt from “Politics, Spirituality, and Postmodern Malaise“:

Really taking it all in like that, however, is fucking hard. And it poses a challenge that’s utterly absent in the way that these ideas tend to manifest in yoga circles, where there’s an implicit insistence that being properly “spiritual” means staying locked inside some pastel-colored bubble where everything looks beautiful and right and good – PERIOD. No unpleasant issues raised; no difficult questions asked.

And from “Yoga for War:  Politics of the Divine“:

Does any of this upset your yogic sensibilities? Do you think there should be no OM in the office? No bakasana on the battleship? No hero pose in boot camp? Isn’t yoga about peace, compassion and love?

I highlight these examples not because I think yoga doesn’t belong in the army, but rather to question an assumption many yoga and spiritual practitioners make. It’s the belief that spiritual liberation is inherently socially or culturally revolutionary.

Colo. cops hunting man who hid in portable toilet at yoga festival (animation)

 

Colo. cops hunting man who hid in portable toilet at yoga festival; ‘Sky’ the bum suspected peeper

BY Philip Caulfield
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, June 22nd 2011, 1:21 PM

Colorado cops have a Porta-Pervert on their hands.

Police in Boulder, Colo., are hunting for a Peeping Tom who hid in the basin of a portable toilet at a weekend yoga festival before being spotted and taking off “covered in feces.”

A woman at the Hanuman Festival, a yoga and music festival, was using the toilet Friday when she suspected someone was hiding in the bowl under a tarp, Boulder’s Daily Camera reported.

The spooked yogi told a pal, who saw the tarp move and went to grab a security guard.

When the friend left the toilet, he heard it lock from the inside, the Camera reported.

The guard waited outside until a lanky white man with no shoes or shirt came out, covered in poop.

The suspect made a run for it and got away, cops said.

Witnesses said the man was between 6-feet-4 and 6-feet-8 with short dark hair and leather cuffs on both wrists.

He fits the description of a well-known Boulder bum known as “Sky,” cops said.

Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel told the Camera that cops are baffled as to how he squeezed his big frame into the tank.

If found, he’ll face charges of criminal attempt to make unlawful sexual contact.  Read more

 

and from Next Media Animation via Fox 31 Denver:

New Favorite Reading: Shivers up the spine

The Cultural Circuitry of Yoga in America: An Interview with Author Stefanie Syman

(Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn dancers in Yoga Meditation, 1915)

“The group, Leary, Swain and the Vedanta devotees then sat cross-legged on Oriental rugs and chanted. When the acid hit, Leary saw shock and amazement on the “Holy folk”, despite their years of practicing Bhakti and Raja yoga. He himself imagined, briefly, that he was Shiva”. (from The Subtle Body, The Story of Yoga in America by Stefanie Syman)

 

(Ruth St. Denis)

I f you’re American and you do yoga, you’ve probably wondered, at some point mid-way through a sonorous closing chant of “OM” how yoga even found its way to these shores. The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America is Stefanie Syman‘s folio of American yoga memories; a book dedicated to uncovering the cultural circuitry of American yoga practice. Each snapshot is a peek at the complicated love affair of Americans with yoga. A tango of a relationship that runs hot and cold by turns,
The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America, tracks the historical development of yoga in American popular consciousness, its momentum, and its surprising staying power.

 

Continue reading at Shivers up the Spine Blog