Power Asana (Not Yoga) – What say you about Yoga in the West?


I guess she’s rising her kundalini energy powerfully.

When I discovered that an advertising agency put this together, it just proved to me – the proverbial fact that western or “Power Yoga” sums it up with a couple of words… Sex Sells.

It is what it is – no right and no wrong, just cause and effect.   I’m curious to know as to what kind of Karma will result with the parties that created this campaign.

A good friend of mine from New Jersey posted an article that was written by a teacher about  “What does Power Yoga say about you?”   I’m not one to excessively blog about every little subject, it’s just not me.   I communicate through action and love,  yet this article got my fire up,  lol.

The article is from Elephant Journal – What Does Power Yoga Say About You? www.elephantjournal.com…   Two excerpts stood out for me as I became more amused.

“Really?  Isn’t a power yoga class all about being seen?  “These people aren’t doing real yoga.”

“To get there, some of us require a vigorous connection to our physicality.  For some yogi brothers and sisters, it is the gentle doorway that leads them there.  Either way, we are all practicing yoga.  We are all doing the real thing.”

Yes and No – For the gentle, there is the opportunity to potentially explore beyond asana and pranayama, deepening the experience.

Western Yoga has definitely evolved into it’s own form;  it has been reduced in the public eye to an asana practice whereas in the east it focuses to suit the condition of the individual, to help them with their suffering (duhkha) at the level of the physical body or at the psycho-emotional level.   In the west, asana is asana, whether it’s Jivamukti,Dharma, Forrest, Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Iyengar.   The issue is which lineage resonates the most for the individual.   Which lineage compliments their asana with pranayama and meditation?   We rarely see it included in the group classes.   In the west, the culture is more chaotic and more complex, we can’t seem to unload our karma when we came into this world, it just keeps piling up.

In the west, for each person, it’s different  –  the kapha/water constitution needs the heat, so Bikram Yoga or a Forrest Yoga practice is good for them, it’s not fast, but a slow invigorating progression to build up the harmony.   The Fire/Airy constitution (Pitta) need the balance between external heat and teaching them how to internalize their own heat.   Overheating them will piss off their constitution.   The Airy/Fire (Vata) constitution seriously needs to chill out, so an Iyengar/Restorative class is best.

However in this culture, we sometimes go against our constitution and the result is a bad addiction of  “Yang-asana” that doesn’t connect with them.   And that’s why those showing up for classes are not necessarily the ones who are in good health.   They may have taken up yoga as exercise because they are not fit enough for conventional exercise and they hear that yoga is gentle and safe.   90 percent don’t listen to their bodies and result in forcing more and feeling less, resulting in ‘Misalignment Vinyasa.”   As teachers we can’t spot everyone, which is why the art of listening takes precedence over visualization.   Yes, Yoga classes builds community   –   it’s a blessing yet a curse.

Bottom line, in my opinion, for most of the culture who have no time to take care of their health because of family/kids/stresses at work, so that we can enable our lifestyle, need to make some personal time and invest in a few one on one sessions.  When there’s progression, then we should create/suggest a new method to practicing as a community  –  create a fusion ‘mysore’ style class where community can gather and follow their individual practice, with a teacher only guiding and supporting them through their 90 minute session and at the end of asana, do pranayama and meditation together or self.   Would that effect the Yoga Market?   Good question.   The chaos in our culture is only going to get more overwhelming, and we need to learn how to deal with the difficulties of  life in this decade, and our own self in order to help others.

As far as the author of the article, it’s all good, but call it “Power Asana”, not Yoga.   But hey, Yoga is a word that sells right?

No right, no wrong, just cause and effect.

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