A war has broken out in the American yoga community among the purists, the peckish, and the profit margin.
When Chocolate and Chakras Collide" - January26/10.
The traditionalists believe that the goal of yoga should be largely philosophic and spiritual, with practice that leads to the purification of the body and mind, and hence to unity. Bacon, burgers, and Brie en croute are not on the purists list as acceptable ingredients for the good yogic life.
The peckish like their meat and their wine and argue that the traditionalists are judgemental. The peckish also, like all good interpreters of scripture, find justification for their choices in various texts from the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jainist canons.
For some, though, the profit margin is paramount, and they have seen an opportunity to offer innovative yoga with music, wine, and gourmet food - all from the convenience of one's yoga mat in a class of other like-minded yo-gourmets.
The tempest arising from these conflicting views about the proper approach and attitude to yoga seems to exist only in a tea pot, or wine glass, as the case may be.
In North America, especially, yoga has a checkered history. In the seventies, anyone who practiced was suspect - flaky at least, subversive of good honest religion at worst. Religious groups were particularly vigilant in overseeing such an exotic practice from The East.
I say, to each his own. It seems so odd to have such arguments over the choice to have cheese with the Downward Dog or not. (Would that be a cheese dog?) I guess our egos can make an argument about anything - rather counterproductive for the yogi, one would think.
The solution is easy. Purists will follow traditional practices and get what they want from that. The peckish will have their days of wine and yoga and heightened gustatory experience. The profit margin will blossom.
So everyone should take a deep Alternating Breath and just relax.