Studying yoga can bring a lot of idealistic thoughts about our way of life. The great yogis that we are studying about had a different world that they lived in. Can you imagine a world without automobiles or cell phones? Can you imagine a world where the music didn’t come through your earphones and the only way to have music was to have someone physically create it? Can you imagine going back to a time where all you had to do was exist and your existence was enough?
Yoga and Modern Life of a Yogi has a completely different meaning unless you are willing to leave everything as you know it and go into the mountains to sit in a meditative posture under a tree for hours and even days. Most of my classmates can’t go an hour without having their phone right next to them. Imagine being so detached from your children that you could go an entire day while you were doing your duties without having to check and make sure that they were ok.
Since we are on the subject of detachment. The modern yogi takes this as a way to let go of all the negativity in their life. While that’s a great way to start because it will open the door to so many other things, it is important to keep in mind that detachment is from all things. During my Advanced Course, I have learned not only to detach from the things that cause me pain but also to detach from the things that bring me joy. Often the things that I enjoy cause me more pain than the things I dislike.
A modern yogi has to deal with a world that is set up to feed their ego. You are conditioned to think that to be a successful yogi is that you need to twist and bend into all sorts of different shapes, have over a million followers on Instagram and be doing retreats in Bali for $6,000. While you can twist and bend into very beautiful or honestly bizarre shapes, do you know the real benefits of doing those particular asanas? You have a million followers on Instagram so you have to post pictures to know that you are enough bu them double tapping your photos. When they don’t you die a little inside. You do retreats for $6,000 a head while teaching people very little about what yoga really is. You spend all day talking about detoxing and ‘meditate’.
I once had a mentor that did podcasting that would do meditation on his podcast and in group retreats. This person couldn’t sit still for more than 2 seconds and doesn’t even have a clear mind while he is sleeping. The modern yogi has to be mindful of the knowledge that they except as truth. Truth and fact can have different meanings. Fact can be too academic but truth is universal and absolute.