Beyond the ever-present undercurrent of wanderlust that lies in my soul, one of the reasons i took this journey to India was to explore the questions, “Who does yoga belong to?” and “Who gets to decide what yoga is?”
In the 20+ years I’ve been practicing yoga and the 13 years I’ve been teaching, I’ve met teachers and students from all over the globe and experienced classes from the strictest of disciplines to yoga with EDM music and glow sticks and most everything in between.
Of course I’ve contributed to the commercialization of yoga and yet I’ve also had the thought on many an occasion that the roots and reverence of yoga seem to be under-investigated in many yoga communities. And within the circles of social justice Yogis that i worth within, the conversation of cultural appropriation of yoga has left me with more questions than answers about my own participation in it.
Tonight i was fortunate enough to attend a dharma talk by Anandji, who founded the Sattva Ashram at the base of the Himalayas in Rishikesh. Through his lecture on the history of yoga he landed on truths that made my insides exhale with a knowing resonance... that yoga isn’t a culture owned by a few but rather a pathway to spirit that belongs to everyone. He said, “Yoga is only relevant if it’s adaptable to all beings.” Hearing that put my questions into a perspective far greater than i had anticipated and yet it was a truth that was already waiting in my heart.
Yoga is whatever lights you up, grounds you down, brings you into community, comforts you in isolation, releases you from the shadows and directs you to the Divine.
#yoga #thisisyoga #india #travelingyogi #truth#yogaforall #divine #wanderlust #rishikesh
— in Rishikesh, Uttrakhand.