YogaFit and Yoga Controversy

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Most of us need to work-in instead of workout" - Skila

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend friends? Mine was absolutely inspiring. I found out late on Friday that I would have the opportunity to attend a YogaFit Level 3 certification this weekend.

The Level 3 training focuses on introspection and understanding your personality as an instructor. It also dives deeper into the power of meditation, breathing, emotional intelligence and positive thought. I know this weekend helped me grown as a yoga instructor and as a student.

Speaking of yoga, I have raved about how much I love Tara Stiles new book Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga, and I recently came across an article discussing all of the controversy it has caused in the yoga world. Check it out here. This is what one of her critics had to say:

"Don't even try to sell me on the 'yoga for the masses' excuse; it's pathetic, and, frankly, she should be ashamed for allowing herself to be talked into shilling for this trash. That is, if any convincing was really necessary--somehow I doubt it. But if asked about it, I am sure we would hear the typical higher-lighter-brighter-peace-love-dove-I'm-just-bringing-yoga-to-the-people" talk."

I was frankly pretty shocked when I read this. I know Tara's style of yoga is very "westernized" (whatever that means), but the above seems a little harsh. I love yoga and have seen the benefits first hand not only in myself but in my friends, colleagues and students as well. I believe yoga can and should be for everyone, and just like we all have different preferences when it comes to the clothes we wear and the food we eat, we can all have different preferences when it comes to the yoga we practice. Some people like the chanting, incense and Sanskrit terms that make up what we consider "traditional" yoga, and some people just don't. Just because you do yoga to music with words, don't really like to chant, and call things by their English translation, doesn't make it any less yoga.

To me yoga is about connecting with your body, letting go of stress, building strength, increasing your energy, and improving your overall health. Whether you practice yoga in your living room with a Jillian Michael's DVD or in a temple in India with a 80 year old yoga guru, if it works for you I'm all about it. Yoga is a very individual and personal thing, and no one has the right to tell someone elsenthat their yoga is wrong or not "real" yoga.

Ok.... I'm going to hop on down off of my soap box now. Sorry for the little rant, but that really sparked something inside of me, especially after such an amazing and touching yoga filled weekend. What do you think about the article?

Anyways, after I got home from day two of the certification, I was pooped and starving so I whipped up a veggie pizza. It hit the spot quite nicely, and I was left with plenty for lunch for the next couple of days! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and if you feel stress or worry start to creep into your mind, just remember to breathe!

Q's and A's:
Do you think there is one type of yoga that is "real" yoga?
Have you read Tara Stile's new book? What did you think?
How was your weekend?

In health,

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