Yoga is everywhere these days. It's fair to say it's become well and truly mainstream. In most Western cities yoga studios are as ubiquitous as fast-food joints or liquor stores. 20 million Americans say they practice yoga. So, what exactly is happening here? How can we explain the meteoric rise of yoga?
Last week, with little fanfare and under heavy security, an historic meeting took place in Rome which marked a turning point in interfaith relations. Inside the 16th century Casina Pio IV villa, home to the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, seven clerics representing over five billion people overcame lingering traditions of suspicion to commit to the eradication of modern day slavery by the year 2020.
I love to do my practice but I've managed to break free of that 'must do' mentality as it was driving me round the bloody bend. It was turning good stuff into bad stuff and what was practised to alleviate/manage the suffering actually became a part of the suffering. So some weeks, I'm a six day kind of guy and on others maybe one or two as I've got to do what's appropriate there and then.
Talking of spiritual paths, I was reading a blog post by another teacher the other day who was basically saying that doing yoga for mental or physical well-being was akin to putting square pegs in round holes. I was like, 'Eh? Really?' I was thinking that's exactly why I started Yoga - to sort out my mind.
Our world evolves at an unimaginable speed. We have become so impatient and demanding, that we even expect that after a few meditation sessions we will be as zen as the Dalai Lama, but the reality is far from there, even if positive changes happen after a few sessions, it takes weeks, before we start to really notice the benefits.
Many scholars, marked by the schism between Christianity and postmodernity, respond by exploring other spiritualities. Would it not be easier to simply return to Christian spirituality? This is, after all, the spirituality that shaped the West. All westerners still carry it inside, even if in a hibernated version.