Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The marketing of Yoga

The superficial side of Yoga

As per some magasines or articles from internet, there some external signs that prove that you are a real yogi. And where is the best place in the world to prove that you are a real yogi? Bali of course. The trendy place is Ubud, a real yoga hub. Therefore there is a mixture between real practitioners and fake one.

The fake one are just there to show themselves and eat only vegan products because they are of course practicing Ahimsa, the others well they just go on their mat whatever the time of the year, not only for the good sake of a TTC.

I found an article on the Yoga Bali spirit web titled "13 signs your officially an Ubud Yogi".

On many yoga blogs it is very trendy and "cool" to speak to potential new students with a friendly manner using cute nicknames. Also we can see some Yoga teachers using quotes that never existed such as "99% Practice, 1% Theory - Patanjali". I've seen this quote on a Yoga teacher blog in which it says that this teacher is teaching the Ashtanga yoga of Patanjali.

The real sentence was "I am teaching Ashtanga Yoga Vinyasa as per the tradition of Patanjali in Mysore".... believe it or not this teacher is referring about the Series of the Ashtanga Yoga....

You might think that I woke up from the wrong foot, or that because of my head injury I am becoming deluded or simply "who does she think she is".

I am fine with it. I truly believe that when we are serious toward the practice and the teaching there is absolutely no need to sugar coat what we really or what we try to convey in order to attract more people, more likes, more views. We should be completely detached about it.

If at all you have something you want to give, offer, to teach then do it. Full stop.

There is no need to fake a cool attitude with a superficial smile.

Back to the article I found I just want to underline some points about it.

Here are some examples:

"You've definitely brought your own smoothie bowl additions to breakfast on more than one occasion. Or been "that person" who completely tweaks the menu to create your perfect custom made smoothie bowl and end-up paying twice as much with all the additions, but it was totally worth it, so who cares"....

well I do believe that the waiter cares a lot! If you are not happy with the menu then go back home and prepare your own smoothie bowl. It is not a so cool attitude to have to discuss and waste the time of the waiter if you are not happy with the ingredients, you are just becoming a pain in the a**, that's it and there is nothing to be glorify and proud about.

"You know exactly which cafes in Ubud sell the best raw, vegan, chocolate cakes and ice creams. You also know their prices, opening and closing times, where the best seats are (wtf???), the staff probably know your name, you're probably thinking about going back for the second time again today"...

The word that came to my mind by reading it is "stalker", then the second thought is "get a life!". How comes you are thinking going back for the second time in the day while there are so many things else to do in Bali. Knowing the best seats.... really? If knowing the best seats is a guaranty of been a real true yogi in Ubud then let me pass this one, thank you.

"After walking down Jalan Hanoman, you frequently get home and can't figure out where all the money you just took out from the ATM went. But oh my god, the clothes, these leggings and this mala and this vegan chocolate ice cream are just too good. I HAD to. Just HAD to"...

Please take note that the most important thing is that the food HAS TO BE VEGAN, of course it has to, in order to underline the fact that this person is a Yogi and then following "Ahimsa" (non violence)... However what about Santosha (Contentment), Aparigraha (detachment), Tapas (discipline, austerity)? I don't see any mention of them, but that is okay the cake and the ice cream were vegan. And what coud we say about those same yogis wearing the beautiful leather belt at the waist with all pockets? After all yoga is all about balance, you don't eat animal but there ain't no problem at all to wear them as a bag. Amen to that...

"Glancing at your bank statement, you don't know whether to be embarrassed or proud of the fact that you've spent more money in yoga studios and raw food cafes than on your rent"...

Nothing to be proud about. There are others places cheaper than Yoga Barn for instance to take yoga classes. Spending money on raw food cafe and yoga classes do not define anyone as a yogi, travelling 12,000 kms in order to pay the same amount of money as in your country for a yoga class is not very clever at all. It is just superficial. And yes we fully understand by the article that this yogi is vegan and eat raw food, this point is very important, remember Ahimsa....

"You watch the sunrise from your scooter almost every morning on your way to yoga class, and spend savasana watch it go down from the studio windows"...

First of all that is so cliché. You can be sure that you can find a picture resuming that sentence on Instagram at the moment I am writing these lines, with a very spiritual sentence such as "surrendering my soule to the Universe before going practicing".... then excuse me but if you are really following the yogic practice you should be ON YOUR MAT by that time starting your practice and not on your scooty taking the pose. And savasana is savasana... if you are lying on your mat and watching the sun then you are not in savasana, you are just lying on your mat....

"You've go a different mala to match ear pair of leggings, tank combo you own"... simply why??
"When your friends back home ask what you do all day long, you laugh and say: take class, eat, chat with friends... its hard to put in words, you have to come to visit"... 

Just tell the truth, as a Yogi I spent all my money buying superficial things in order to fulfil my empty life. Now I am broke and desperate because I did not really practice Yoga at all...
I don't know what is a "true" or a "fake" yogi.

However I do have much more admiration and respect to those people who are handling their early morning yoga practice before taking the kids to school, taking their shift from 9.00 AM to 6.00 PM, running after work to pickup kids from school, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, people who have "an ordinary life" to others but who take time to live their lives without lying and follow their passion whatever happens to them. They are the real heroes!

Big up to that Yoga teacher who is cumulating hours of teaching, continuing education, do not sell his/her soule to social networks and still keep time for traveling, learning, experiencing in a soft and humble way without spending too much money on unnecessary things, traveling light and who can adapt to anything anywhere in the world.

Asia is beautiful but when you stay more than one month than you start discovering the other faces and you realise that there is a huge difference between the postal card, the social media and the reality. I feel very grateful to meet such good people on my way, they are so rich from their experiences, they are the real yogis to me.

Not the boho "chic" travelling to the other side of the world and spending all of his/her money in good trendy places, buying stuff more expensive than in the West, the famous cool attitude digger.
We tend to attract people like us.

And when I take time to have a look at my circle, people I know and with whom I am interacting, people I met during my traveling time, I feel blessed because I know that I am on the right path.

Have a good practice!

Article initially published on Xandra Yoga

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