What is the future of yoga in the West?
That’s the sincere question I posted, in various forms, to some of the prominent yogis of the West, at the Wanderlust Festival in Whistler.
The question is fraught with peril; after all, what is the ‘West’ anymore in a globalized society?
And, who can draw the distinction between what is truly “yoga” and what is a grandiose exercise class draped in pseudo spirituality?
Seane Corn, Janet Stone, Chris Chavez, MC Yogi, Eoin Finn, Sjanie Mcinnis and Wanderlust co-founder Schulyer Grant all weigh in with their thoughts, which I crafted into a synthesis that captures the broad snapshot of Western “yoga” at this moment.
I’ve had moments of skepticism that the mainstream yoga I see will result in any significant shift away from our current destructive paradigm. And yet…on the Friday night of Wanderlust, I shot inches from Seane Corn and Michael Franti as they guided the crowd of hundreds through an ecstatic group experience. I marvelled as Seane expertly wove a spell of spiritual empowerment and global potential, while Michael accompanied with his guitar and delicate lyrics.
As the tempo reached its frenzied peak, I felt something—call it the arising of collective intelligence—call it a moment of mysterious bliss; all I know is that it hinted at something more powerful than any of us understand—and its emergence in multiple forms, through multiple voices.
Ian MacKenzie is a filmmaker and media activist from Vancouver, BC. He is co-producer of the upcoming feature documentary Occupy Love, directed by Velcrow Ripper.
Editor: Bryonie Wise
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