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?
Personally I have found that I couldn't even place myself in cultural groups around me. When my hair was short, afro-diasporic people gave me the nod of solidarity, when my hair was long south-Asian diasporic peoples spoke to me in their diversity of languages, yet I remained neither here nor there.
Yoga is not a pick-n-mix, you cannot take the fitness aspect, asana, and ignore the aspect of jnani, self knowledge, or bhakti, doing selfless service for others. We cannot afford to pay no heed to how our daily consumerism, and lack of resistance toward consumerism, propels the impoverishment of brown bodies in the East
Without love our empathy always falls short, and without full-bodied empathy we cannot act in true selflessness, consequently, we will not fix the deep seated issues we face as a species. It makes sense that unless we reclaim love from its hegemonic interpretations, in order to love ourselves, to love others and to love planet, our work for social change will always be burdened.
Start your year by creating just five minutes a day of pure silence, whether that's sitting in your car before you enter the house, in the shower each morning, or maybe in a meditative state propped up on your bed. Silence is beautiful, nurturing and healing. But most importantly, silence allows space for solutions and ideas to bubble to the surface.