Thursday, March 8, 2007

Have Westerners Killed Yoga?

Patanjali's Sutras contain 195 aphorisms. The physical practices are mentioned in very few of them. I found 15 aphorisms that contained references to the physical practices.
That leaves 180 aphorisms that talk about the rest of the practice of yoga.
References are made to yoga being taught one on one with the yoga master teaching the student.
When I see yoga classes in many Western studios I see crowded classes of twenty or more. The classes tend to be led classes of asana practice.
How does this fit with the sutras?
The Sutras and Sri Patthabi Jois both say that the physical practice is necessary for the practice of yoga. ("Do your practice and all is coming").
But the sutras also mention that yoga begins with the first limb, being the yamas. Specifically to take care of others and practice service.
How many of us do this?
How many classes are just gymnastic classes that make the student feel good?

No comments: