A modern yogi is often not guided by a guru. The guru system is lost on these younger generations especially as you head out west because people don’t feel that paying money to someone to guide them doesn’t have value. We live in a world where RuPaul, Oprah and Donald Trump can all be claimed as gurus. They all have books that people follow religiously. RuPaul’s latest book is titled - GuRu.
While a don’t discredit their influence and ability to create change, I don’t think it is possible for them to be personal gurus to people that they have never met. I could even self publish a book tomorrow and claim all sorts of things and be labeled as a guru to someone. It doesn’t make any sense to follow just one person because in the world today there are billions of people. In the classical yoga days, there were not as many people populating this Earth as we know it today.
A modern yoga has to fight through more negativity than a classical yogi. The world is generally a negative place so much so that their are Facebook pages and Instagram accounts solely devoted to positive quotes. I even write quotes on the whiteboard every morning with something positive to start my own day out right but hopefully inspire someone else to think the same way. I hear about it when I don’t write them so there is some enjoyment being had when I do write them.
A modern yogi has more challenges with man-made distractions while a classical yogi has more distractions that are nature-made. Today, there are notifications for everything on our smart device. However, they make us less smart. As modern day yogis, we are constantly bombarded with food, advertisements, ways of communicating and technology. We have to make conscious choices to disconnect with the outside world and go within. We have to be ok with not knowing what is going on at home or with our children.
A modern day yogi has to make a choice for themselves if something is right or wrong. We live in a world where nothing is as it seems. If someone believes that the sky is red and not blue we have to look at that person and say, ‘ok.’ We have to swim through life’s daily routines to be able to do what we want. We have to have a website, Instagram and Facebook for anyone to know who you are. A modern day yoga has more noise to try and muddle through to get a clear sense of who they are. Yoga is what it has been for centuries and it will continue to try to evolve for centuries to come.