Yesterday around 20:30 hours I arrive home from teaching yoga class. That afternoon I have made some delicious soup with all sorts of vegetables like turnip greens. During dinner I tell about the class, about the pupils and about the temperature in the studio. I finally have succeeded – after studying the manual for ten minutes – in programming the air-conditioning. It feels like luxury!
Talking about yoga, my husband Coen weighs in.
“Bunny yoga?” Ever heard of it? What trend does that belong to?”
Coen is quite a joker so I study his face with suspicion.
“Seriously. It exists. Go look it up on the social media.”
‘Fake news!” I protest.
“No, real news!” He laughs.
After yoga with goats there is now Bunny Yoga. I sense of irritation arises. And that hardly ever happens to me when it concerns the behaviour of other people. And now it does. I decide to leave the feeling for what it is, go to sleep and this morning go back to teaching. During this morning lesson – again in a lovely warm studio, it occurs to me where this irritation comes from.
It is not about what people do in their lives. It just doesn’t bother me unless things that don’t make me happy, occur in my space. No, my concern is the erosion of yoga. It has become one of the fastest growing sectors especially in the United States and logically the commerce build on a successful theme. But not only that. Yoga schools pop up like weeds. One offers variation X on the theme of yoga and the other variation Y. And as with all sporting disciplines with which money is concerned, that don’t know an official protection of the profession and with which the people can be manipulated, this phenomenon makes its way to Europe. The emptiness arrives in the West. Decadence rules on all fronts. Drowned in consumerism. In buying, having and keeping. So why not yoga with goats and bunnies?
How big a thrill I find the fact that whole tribes stand, sit or lie on a yoga mat to above all learn how to relax and focus, how terrible I find the fact that it is being called yoga. Thereby, yoga as wholeness has been split up in different sorts of yoga. Yoga for the breath, body, pregnant women, depressed people, children, babies, backs, hips, older people, senior citizens, pets and other special snowflakes. And there is more under this old sun. I dare say it is everything except for yoga as yoga is meant to be.
Classic yoga trainings offer the means to become a good person.
The ground principle is:
Leave the “good” for what it is and learn to do the “bad” better until it has transformed to the “good”.
That requires balance and with yoga training you can bring yourself into balance. You are kind to yourself with the ultimate goal to be good and kind to the whole world! Without conditions. That first step (being kind to yourself) is extremely hard when not trained on a daily basis. So yoga is not something you only do on your mat. It is a way of life. A life philosophy. Goats and bunnies are like the social media: a total distraction. For imagine you investing time in and focus on yourself?
If you want to make the world a better place you surely don’t have to share videos about animals being mistreated or invite a bunny on your mat. You only have to be a good person. And if you cannot cope with abandoned and mistreated animals why not go work in an animal shelter. There you will achieve something. And who knows, those animals maybe your mirror? For how badly are you abandoning and mistreating yourself?