What is the Future of Yoga? {Video} ~ Ian MacKenzie

Via elephant journal
on Sep 21, 2012
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photo: Ian MacKenzie

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’ll admit I’m not a yoga scholar; I’ve practiced for 4 years, with a goal of 2-3 times per week (when I can) and I’ve read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and watched films like Planet Yoga.

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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4 Responses to “What is the Future of Yoga? {Video} ~ Ian MacKenzie”

  1. el carg says:

    With all due respect, Wanderlust and studio yoga is exclusionary. I sincerely hope the future of yoga is something more like this — open to all backgrounds, races, body types, not through a homogenization of tattoos, dreads, Lulu pants, and travel photos.

    Check out this group (http://www.facebook.com/ImUniqueDenver) in Denver who over the summer held an event where hundreds of folks from diverse backgrounds came together for a free (shocking, I know!) class and blew the roof of a museum.

    Love the folks in the video you produced and like practicing with them, but won't turn into one of them.

  2. […] all, what is the ‘West’ anymore in a globalized society? And, who can draw the […] Source RELATED NEWSOCCUPY LOVE- Show Me Your FaceCasseroles – Vancouver, May 30 2012Occupy Movement: Show […]

  3. eoin finn says:

    Yeah, I am skeptical of "mainstream yoga" too. I think when commercialism becomes a larger driving force than our intention to have real connections based on kindness the yoga movement is in peril. I didn't feel that it was out of balance there. I can only speak to my experience, but I enjoyed a lot of great yoga and deep conversations with people as well as time to dance and free my soul. I think a lot of people would say the same.

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