The Yoga Business.

Via elephant journal
on May 27, 2013
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Photo: lyn tally
Photo: Lyn Tally

I spent 27 days in a closed spiritual retreat.

It was a place lost in space-time and hidden from eyes that “do not see.” A place not marked on any travel guide map—where life stops, where the external world disappears.

This is a place for meeting one’s teachers and oneself, an opportunity to hear what our inner truth has been telling us all along.

Twenty-seven days without a phone or the internet. (I beg the understanding of those whose calls and emails went unanswered.)

Twenty-seven days of practicing in silence and piercing stillness, a restructuring of the mind’s function and a deconstruction of knowledge accumulated over the years, which upon my return materialized in the form of three new books, a multitude of articles and boundless gratitude for the chance to stop and find myself again.

There comes a time when it becomes impossible to go on as you used to. There comes a time when you must choose whether to support a system aimed at fame and renown—a system that popularizes the teaching of yoga and the instructors themselves, who freely employ mental and social knowledge as a substitute for spiritual knowledge—or to step back and stop wasting time on the insignificant.

There comes a time when you understand that there is no way if there is understanding. A self that starts upon this way will never reach its end.

Whatever we do here on earth—whatever we may consider it to be and whatever we call it—this is nothing but a karmic school whose essence is only in graduating from it. We all have the power necessary to do so.

The issue is in having the will to. The choice is yours. I’ve made mine.

There are no masters left in the earth’s material plane. The masters have left for a different plane and now, after the transition of 2012, we have been left to our own devices.

The freedom of will and self-expression we strove for out of a greedy desire for power and following our ego’s ambitions is now bestowed upon us in all its glory. We have received that which we desired and for which we struggled.

But where has that brought us, and what has it become for us?

We have learned to use the right words, to say things that will touch others and resonate with them. We don’t need to have a Ph.D. in Economics to do it. We all know what is sold and how—even in yoga.

No, we don’t do it on purpose, or even consciously. Quite on the contrary—if only we could see, in a single moment, all of this in its entirety, our place and our role in it, its influence on us and on others, then we wouldn’t do it. We wouldn’t participate and would not be able to go on supporting it.

But we do not see.

We see it in fragments, agreeing with some, disagreeing with others, sometimes feeling something. But we do not see it fully, holistically.

If we could see, then the entire hellish mechanism, this entire wheel of spiritual samsara would stop immediately and never move again. If even one of the famous yoga instructors that supports, cultivates, desires and encourages their own self’s spiritual decay—or all the new-fashioned and tried-and-true gurus—were to truly be enlightened for a single second, this mechanism would crumble.

Vision is itself action. So long as there is no vision, there can be no action.

After all, we only nourish this mechanism and bring it to life in order to playfully struggle with it. We fiddle with it, rolling it back and forth, like children with their toy cars.

All of these yoga systems, yoga organizations, yoga projects, yoga conferences, yoga festivals, yoga federations, yoga platforms, yoga missions and other toys in the hands of spiritual adolescents, are all deeply corrupt, to their very essence.

We must ourselves be corrupt down to our cores, if we can make a game out of spirituality itself.

The relationships of yoga-disciple, disciple-teacher, teacher-studio, disciple-studio and teacher-teacher have been corrupted. These relationships have no purity, no spiritual essence, no love, and thus they are unnecessary.

Unnecessary, no matter how pure and yoga-appropriate the phrases in which we disguise ourselves and by which we deceive others. Unnecessary, no matter how hard we try to silence our conscience and consciousness with phrases from the books of Advaita Vedanta that “all must be as it is,” “all is already perfect,” and, thus, “nothing needs to be changed.”

Yes, all is exactly “as it is” on the outside, but at the same time completely different within us.

In the depths of our souls each of us knows our weaknesses and knows that inside everything is already different. Just that the internal does not match the external and, thus, something needs to be changed. This is the eternal juxtaposition of good and evil inside each of us, choices we make every second. This is the balance and unification of opposites, for each of us the balance is different.

A yoga instructor tells himself and his students:

“This is my mission. I only wish to share and help people.”

And he believes it himself, preferring not to see it any other way. A mission wrapped in a cover of captivating videos, thought-out PR-campaigns, SEO-optimized websites, colorful yoga photo shoots, bestselling texts, flashy announcements that “space is limited,” purchased Facebook likes, and one’s own daily “struggle” to perform a handstand.

That’s a slightly different kind of mission.

It’s convenient to cover up with the mission concept, the spiritual shield of ignorance, so long as you don’t know, despite all your enlightenment, that there is no other mission for every human being other than to move toward oneness.

This mission is within us—and it is the only one. This battle happens on the personal level, within you, within me, within each of us. Only on the individual level.

It is the inner relationship between identity and spirit, which concerns only you—no one else should have any business with it.

Free yourself of the ridiculous idea that you need to do something worthwhile and important in this life, that you need to leave a trace or help as many people as possible. Free yourself of the desire to achieve lofty goals—these are all tricks of the mind.

There is no mission, and there never has been, for anyone and to anyone. It’s merely a spiritually-justified mental trap.

The ego invents a myriad of missions. It’s the new drug for the modern yoga-junkie.

We cannot help anyone in any way as long as we haven’t reached it ourselves. And we cannot teach anyone anything, as long as we haven’t achieved the understanding on our own.

We cannot walk their path for them. Otherwise, it is nothing more than intellectual knowledge passed from one person to another. There is no point in it; in fact, it causes more harm than good.

The way is only inside, and this battle happens only on the personal level.

Spiritual supermarket shelves are full to the brim of intellectual knowledge about yoga and spirituality. In their various packages, we all keep consuming new intellectual product-knowledge—empty, endless knowledge that sucks out our time, strength, hopes, money and energy and only to lead us away from ourselves and our direct connection with our spirit.

Perhaps, for some, it will eventually suck out illusions as well—but not all are so lucky.

Spiritual knowledge cannot be transferred from person to person. It always descends upon us from above, directly into our being.

To listen to it, to hear it and to follow it in every second of our lives—this is our only mission and the only straight and true way for man to reach oneness.

As long as students accept middlemen between themselves and spirituality, as long as teachers rant about their missions, people will keep failing their one mission on Earth. Instead, they will spend years following others, imperfect mortals, who are also losing time stuck in their own illusions.

How long will you go on wasting time and encouraging others to waste it as well? How long will you go on wandering around yoga studios without admitting to yourself that yoga is not a group activity, not a party or group entertainment?

Yoga is an intimate, sacred practice—a quiet and tremulous communication between us and our own spirit that has nothing to do with unknown people sweating around us.

How long will we go on creating and seeking out teachers—finding them, becoming infatuated with them and disappointed in them? How long will we go on choosing them by their mass appeal, appearance, photos, numbers of likes, emoticons, comments, shares and pins on their social media pages?

How long will we go on admiring their “legs behind the head” pose (as though that could ever put anyone’s head back in its proper place)?

How long will we yoga teachers go on killing our soul and each other with competition, throwing each other about with words about our truth? How long will we keep pushing each other away with Bali seminar prices, crushing each other with loads of Instagram handstand photos or all-the-same ridiculous home-made YouTube videos, blinding each other with bright Lululemon leggings, Coolpix effects and Yoga Journal covers?

The choice is ours.

We choose what and whom to follow; how to practice and why; how to teach and for what purpose; what to revere and how to spend your time.

I’m not a teacher. I have no mission, no intent to enlighten. Not anymore.

I have no system, no school, no instructors. All I can do is to show how I practice.

But, even that is no longer necessary, ever since I wrote a book in which anyone who may be curious can find out.

Creators of systems ruin their followers. Followers ruin the creators of the systems they follow. No one does it on purpose. It’s just that no one is aware of it.

The choice is yours—I’ve made mine.

 

Nina Mel bio picNina Mel is the author of the books The Book of Asanas: Energy Geometry of the Human Body, The Art of Attention, The Unknown Chakras, and The Lessons of Insider. Nina has a Ph.D. in Psychology. She is an intuitive and a specialist in the creation of Individual Asana Codes—personally-tailored yoga programs which are unique, safe and personalized self-practice experiences for those who believe that the sacred process of yoga practice is a spiritual discipline that cannot be effectively practiced at yoga studios and group classes.

 

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Asst. Ed: Amy Cushing/Ed: Kate Bartolotta, Bryonie Wise


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Comments

230 Responses to “The Yoga Business.”

  1. Yogacult says:

    Nina, thank you for sharing your truth. Each of us must seek our own truth and find the courage to express it. The venom with which many have responded here is evidence of the state of consiousness that leads to the trap you warn of. I would have liked to learn more of your teachings, but that was not my path.

    Onward, I wish you blessings on your journey.

  2. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you, JungleCat for your opinion. We have different visions of what yoga is, that's ok. Blessings to you on your yoga path.

  3. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you for sharing your opinion, Angelica. Blessings.

  4. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you. I appreciate your comments so much. Best.

  5. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you. I wish you all the blessings on your path too. Be well.

  6. Juli J says:

    I respectfully disagree with this. I think it is very possible to experience mindfulness and take steps toward connecting with the Self through a practice of joy. As you said yourself the path happens on a very personal level. Please then do not be so quick to dismiss a practice described as "fun and playful" as "yoga fitness fun". Perhaps this IS the case for her, but then again perhaps not. It could be a transformational practice…depends upon what is going on internally. I don't think either of us can discern the answer to that from her casual comment.

  7. kittycat4646 says:

    Yes! I agree with you Rob. I am a yoga teacher and could never imagine being a "yoga celebrity"!! It's just not for me. I get embarrassed too easily, ha! Plus, my asana practice isn't that impressive, and I'm not that pretty. I can't do any of the "fancy" poses and really don't strive to. I mean, if they come, they come, but for me, that's not the goal here. Also, I don't have a "mission" other than to be a really decent kind, loving human being in this life. I teach anatomically, not with "words of wisdom" because I feel like that's not authentic to me. Some teachers can pull it off though quite nicely. Some cannot, and to me, it is annoying hearing New Age words of wisdom in a class. I could do without!

    I get where Nina is coming from though in a sense. I get the frustration she is displaying because I have a lot of those frustrations about the yoga community as well. But at the same time, I don't like to be "grouped in" with that part of the culture, just because I am a yoga teacher. There are many of us who aren't anything like what she is describing, but Nina obviously doesn't know about us because there are no Youtube videos, no fancy yoga shoots, no glimmer or glam about us. We're just quietly doing our thing, because we love it and it makes us feel good and that's it. There is no competition between me and other yoga teachers. The thought of it is ridiculous to me!! I have 2 beautiful young kids. I'm a mom first before anything. If you saw me, I'm the opposite of a yoga celebrity. We exist, Nina. Please don't judge ALL yoga teachers so harshly….. though this was YOUR experience, it is very different from mine.

  8. I have experienced a similar state of mind when I was working in the fashion industry in NY in my 20's. I asked myself "what is the point of all this craziness?". Now I am happily teaching yoga in Northern California. At one point in our life those of us ready for a mental paradigm shift go through a collapse. We let go of our past environment and people but not because they are bad or more ignorant than us. We leave them because we ourselves need to change in order to grow. Believing that the others are ignorant allows us to leave.

    If you have been practicing yoga early in life and remained in it for so long it probably is time you move on. I wish you well on your journey. It is true there is no master, no mission and I would add no higher purpose of enlightenment. If your life is simple and you are content with and love everyone in your life as well as your own then this moment is sweet, inspiring and worth living up to.

  9. Yogini says:

    I think that when we stop living on this planet, we can stop being human. In the meantime, even our time best spent, even our quest for a spiritual life of devotion to a higher power, will be tinged with humanity. There's no way to avoid that but to quit the journey completely, which I guess is what you chose to do. Yes the yoga "biz" sometimes goes to far, but we can each choose to practice in an environment that nudges us along on our own personal journey. Great read though. Lots to think about here!

  10. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you Janya!

  11. Nina Mel says:

    Yogini, thanks for this.

  12. Dee says:

    Wow Nina. I have gone through ths same process myself. I injured my back stopped yoga nd realized how self destructive it was. Now that I meditate , walk in nature, and do my own yoga, mudras, and chanting in the shower I am reborn. I am an Indian born Hindu so it was doubly painful fr me to see te exploitation of my culture in every class I went but I was dying for the spiritual fix without coming to my own truths. Comparing myself to ll the narcissistic lulu emon clad yoga was very skf destructive. And I realized indeed what happens on the mat mirrors real life. I didn't need this masochistic herd brainwashing , I realized these teachers were even more messed up then I was and I was getting messed up going to their classes. But I had to go through this journey to cultivate my discernment and have trust in my own truth. Yoga was just a corrupted permission slip to embody my truth. I would love to chat more . My email is [email protected]

  13. Swami Anantananda says:

    It's a very trendy and very egoic tendency to assert the non-existence of Masters and the lack of need for one. Very U.G. Krishnamurthi of you. However, this flies in the face of the very tradition (Sanatana Dharma) which created the Masters you implicitly acknowledge must have at least existed on earth once upon a time. Those Masters achieved their realization through utilizing the ancient tradition of Guru Param-para. They shared that realization by making use of the same tradition. There has never been a break in this tradition. For example, Ramana Maharshi was one of the greatest Masters who ever lived. His disciple Sri Punya had a disciple who is now called Mooji. Mooji is still alive and well. He is very much a Master. I have met others personally. To say that they don't exist is to say that they never existed. It sounds like you've let a little bit of knowledge lead you to make some gross over-generalizations.

  14. I fucking LOVE LOVE LOVE this article! thank you so much for sharing! it articulates ~ perfectly ~ the recurring nightmare i have been having in regards to owning a Yoga Studio!
    Super Kudos to you for diving in deep enough to express this sentiment!
    Michelle

  15. Demetra says:

    Hi Nina,

    Thank you for your article, as it made me think. I just am not convinced that yoga is bad all the time. Yoga came to me at a time when I desperately needed it, and it saved me. I went through teacher training just a year later. The training tremendously deepened my own practice. I don't think that everything has to be as absolute as you say. Sometimes yes, I admit, yoga is just plain fun for me. It is also what I turn to when I'm sad. And it has given me something more- to want to look for more than a studio can give. There are days when I don't want to go to a group class, and prefer to spend the time on my own mat, by myself. Sometimes I need more meditation than asana, and vice versa. I'm young, and maybe, someday, I'll want to stop teaching. No one ever knows what will happen. But for now, I love it. I love helping people feel better. I love when people who are not normally spiritually inclined come to my class. And sure, sometimes there is ego there too, as there is for everything. But I am very aware of it. If not for yoga, do you think you would have ever come to this realization? I think it is a wonderful stepping stone for people on their way to their own self-practice and spiritual knowledge. Just because you know something doesn't mean it is right for everyone, or that you are better than them because you think you know more. This is your own journey, and everyone's journey is equally important. I realize why you wrote the article, and I do think that's a good thing. But I think that even commercial yoga is ultimately doing more good than bad.

  16. azi says:

    Nina, how do you know they didn't help themselves?? your 27 days of retreat, teaches you (I assume) to find balance and not react to things with aversion and craving as all things are ephemeral. What comes from your writing is the contrary of those teachings. You assume that no other yoga teacher has gone on a retreat like you did and work on themselves to become free from their miseries?? if they have not work on living with awareness and loving kindness, then they are missing the point of yoga. I'm sure if you look closely, you will find many yoga teachers who are on the path which helps them to live a balanced life that could be beneficial not only to them but many other beings 🙂

    You may live a happy, peaceful, and equanimous life.
    Namaste,
    Azi

  17. WHHHHHHHHHHOA!
    Kudos for diving deep enough to uncover your dissatisfaction with the Yoga industry. I shared the article on my Studio page because I agree with the sentiment.
    I think it's important to make a distinction between Faith and the Business of Yoga. It does appear that you are weaving~ almost seamlessly ~ two notions together. The business of Yoga is just that..its a business and to quote Tom Robbins :
    Ideas are definitely unstable, they not only CAN be misused, they invite misuse–and the better the idea the more volatile it is. That's because only the better ideas turn into dogma, and it is this process whereby a fresh, stimulating, humanly helpful idea is changed into robot dogma that is deadly….
    The problem starts at the secondary level, not with the originator or developer of the idea but with the people who are attracted by it, who adopt it, who cling to it until their last nail breaks, and who invariably lack the overview, flexibility, imagination, and most importantly, sense of humor, to maintain it in the spirit in which it was hatched. Ideas are made by masters, dogma by disciples, and the Buddha is always killed on the road.

    I think we have a responsibility as smart, creators invested in liberation to not mump everyone and everything into the same cesspool of distaste but rather continue to remain inspired and most importantly, to stay connected to pursuit of Oneness..We can mind our business and trust the process.
    Believe me, sometimes i feel like Yogis are the nastiest bunch of people I have ever worked with and I dare not proclaim any ownership to a title such as that….but i practice Yoga and I own a Yoga studio because Im in Love with movement, spirituality, and the continuous opportunity to be humbled enough to take a Gods eye perspective to see where my Real work is.
    My Mantra is This: Don'y shoot the Messenger….

  18. Javi says:

    I have read every comments and replies regarding Nina's article and i found it very useful to open this kind of discussions. I feel what Nina is transmitting is not merely a Yoga industry discussion, but a fundamental aspect and process of our existence, that can be experimented by any person, even by people who don't teach or practice Yoga…i found that most of the comments mention the word "enlightenment"…but i ask what enlightenment really is? it sounds like something that we need to reach, something that people is looking for, but nobody understand what it really is! …but why do we care much about this? I feel the challenge in this life is to release ourselves from the idea that we need to get something! In this sense i agree with the most transcendental idea that Nina is transmitting: there is no goal, no path, no search, no end, no subject, no object, no center, no distance, no separation…there is UNITY/CONSCIOUSNESS/EMPTINESS/INFINITE……finally, everyone has their own way and is totally ok if any yoga teacher wants to continue teaching yoga, being part of yoga industry, etc etc, etc…that is secondary for me, but which is important is being connected with our most transcendental meaning of who we really are, which has nothing to be with any mind reasoning. Thanks Nina for opening this conversation. LOVE to everyone and KEEP THE BIG PICTURE BURNING BRIGHTLY!

  19. michael says:

    Nina, it feels like your article is a mirror of your own internal corruption.
    We are all a paradox. Both deeply spiritual & deeply flawed.
    I'm wondering if you need to make peace with that?

  20. John Rawlinson says:

    Wow, Nina, what a great article – I have never bothered to read all of the comments on a thread before – it certainly set the duality/oneness paradox cat amongst us yoga pigeons. Thank you for your courage in sharing so honestly your experience and disillusionment with aspects of the business that has grown around the yoga practice. It came to me at a very poignant time and gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own journey.
    When I was 17 I had a very profound spiritual experience on magic mushrooms. As an atheist steeped in the empirical rationalist tradition I had no placeholder for the oneness that I experienced. I kept it as my intuitive secret that dared not speak its name while I explored a wide range of wisdom traditions to reconnect with the Truth that I had seen. There was plenty of 'Neti, neti', not this, not that, nor that, but more often expressed in the Judeo Christian vein of 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity', an easier position to hold given that I became a very successful fashion model with all that goes with that. My cynical anger and self loathing was deep enough that, by the time I came to a yoga practice 15 years ago, i had few expectations beyond getting a stronger body, more relaxed and maybe stop smoking and drinking so much. I was drawn deeper and deeper into my practice, including attending the shiny, bright studios, doing the teacher trainings, indulging in yogic pick'n'mix (Kundalini, Breath centered, emdodied asana, iyengar, Vinyasa etc), even training with a well known teacher to work (on a mission;) in hospitals. I had my doubts and difficulties with all of it, yet I never went to a class where i didn't have an experience of my self and I learnt something from every teacher, irrespective of age or status.
    I still haven't found what I was looking for, the Truth, but, through diligently doing the work in front of me with the tools available, I've found something a whole lot more humanly applicable: love. My reach will always exceed my grasp and I feel the deeply, profanely, infuriatingly loveable beauty in that.
    The poignancy of your article arises because, after 32 years of searching, i am ready to engage open heartedly with exactly the world you seem to wish to withdraw from. I have no idea where your journey will take you, and it's probably unclear to you, but I do hope that at some point you feel ready to re-enter the yoga community; as you pointed out in your post, the world is crying out for voices with your passion and integrity.
    Thank you again for prompting my spiritual stock taking and all the best in your explorations.

    John

  21. Commenting Yogi says:

    I think it's human, understandable, and natural to be saddened when something we love is treated in a way that we feel does not honor it. Worship (at its best) is a form of love. It isn't dogmatism, or extremism, or commercialism. It doesn't require persuasion, force, argument. When we love something we recognize it, and often wish to serve it. We voluntarily choose to give ourselves to it. We may even be willing to make sacrifices to protect it, or nurture it.

    But that experience doesn't exist in a vacuum. What happens in the world around us impacts that delicate thread of connection that we hold to our love. For, if yoga is correct, we are all interconnected. If someone dumps toxic waste in a sacred river that effects those who worship the spirit of the river.

    The tremendous courage and aliveness that flows from being touched deep inside out heart is an experience that can never be packaged, trapped, or held in one particular model, form or practice. Who can know the mind of god? But if grace descends, if god whispers to us in our hearts, then that union (yoga) can move us deeply. Its hallmark is beauty.

    If something is holy to you (and it could be anything, a person, a text, a practice) there is a difference between sharing it, and selling it. And there's a fine line between offering something and manipulating, forcing or persuading others. A good teacher makes themselves unnecessary. Just as a good parent creates independence, not dependence in their children.

    Much of modern yoga creates dependence – not independence. It puts revenue ahead of education and proficiency. Profit ahead of discernment and wisdom. Educating happens to the extent certain business objectives are met. And models and styles and business mechanics often trump the needs, desires and hopes of the people involved. Satya means not leaving out important parts of the truth. This is part of the truth, although not the whole of it.

    Exercise alone (even without asana practice) has many positive benefits in mind and body. And there's nothing, per se, wrong with commercial activity. That's true. But when sensory experience (emotional, physical, etc.) is packaged to create an effect in people, and to generate more business, this becomes a kind of subtle persuasion, and it's reasonable to question how much this is still linked to love, worship, education. It has become a commercial activity.

    Growth, and love, often require difficulty, hard work, discomfort, patience, gradual growth, faith, personal involvement, inquiry. But business can't always afford these. Business needs quick results and repeat business. The rents of yoga studios often demand it.

    Those who teach professionally have probably experienced many instances of being told to put business needs ahead of love, patience, education, human connection, authenticity. They have probably been pressed for quick results, and financial results, over the work of honoring what they believe. They have probably been exposed to popularity, pettiness, politics, strategies, groupons, bad vibes between studios and styles and teachers. They have been confronted with dominant styles that are profit driven. All of these may be understandable, and human. But they are hard to really love and worship. They create a discord that isn't recognizable as union. Perhaps they are the yang to the yin. But it is understandable to be saddened when one feels that what has been heart-stirringly triumphant and loving and empowering has been reduced and diminished.

    A reasonable test might be to ask: is this based on love and faith, or need and fear? Is this service the kind I find at Starbucks or the kind i find in the deepest part of my soul? The answers should be telling. When people hurt each other, sadden each other, disappoint each other, persuade and coerce each other – all philosophical theories aside – it's reasonable to wonder if it is still yoga as Patanjali and other sages and seekers intended. The original goal of yoga was insight through a calm mind and careful observation. Modern yoga is something else, as with everything, a question of balance.

  22. Alana says:

    Wow what a fabulous article and comments. This article has clearly made everyone really think and question their beliefs. Very well articulated and really opened my eyes. I have done a lot of reading on “specialness” and “special relationships” and I never saw my practice this way but now I do. I never felt that “specialness” applied to my yoga practice, teachers, studios or even the type of yoga I pratlctice but this article pushed me to really examine my relationship with these and how I identify with them. Thank you for openining these doors.

  23. Dale says:

    Samuri-Chica, in an oddly 'ironic' way, you just made her point.

  24. formercarpenter says:

    You and I have the same story – I used to build houses for people, then I hit my thumb with a hammer and crushed it. Now I see clearly and I gave up my hammer. I will never use a hammer again. Others may still use a hammer, and I'm not judging, but ask them, they are in it for the wrong reasons. I know because I can read all their minds.

    It is sad to see someone crash and burn. I hope you recover from you pain. You might want to stop judging others since you don't seem to know as much as you think you do. How long will you wait before you start teaching your "new, realized" system that is not a system and write the book that you will use to justify it?

    There are demons in the world and they try to keep people from their spiritual path, and this article is a good example of what they look like.

    I wish you the best in your endeavors.

  25. Tatiana says:

    Very powerful stuff. I stopped teaching for similar reasons. i was making myself sick trying to be likeable and spread yoga at the same time. The two are just not compatible. 🙂 I think you are a deep soul. I wish you peace and deep insight on your journey.

  26. This is a beautiful realization and it is so important that you have acknowledged it. With that said, many of us who are not on the cover of Yoga Journal and never cared to be, already know this. We honor and acknowledge spirit and the heart every time we teach. Embodiment is "giving a body to spirit" and yoga or movement or Divine Moves which is what I teach is always about that. I am always in service to my students and am honored every moment that they share with me in community the beautiful connection to spirit. And this work is the work of spirit, not me, and I am privileged to be the vessel that brings it forth. Always about spirit NEVER about us. xo

  27. leysinyeti says:

    This article has ramblings that might be attributed to coming out of some seasonal funk into mania. The author may know, she’s a psychologist after all. I assume the author paid, or through talent or reputation which is simply another type of currency, to attend this retreat. Also, it really seems a great waste of our time here on earth, where we can interact with others and our environment, to discount the present in a yearning for solitary vibration on another plane.

  28. charcoalbrick123 says:

    Stunning words.

  29. Adam Sewell says:

    Great article Nina. It's well written (unusual for many of EJ's contributors) and obviously comes from the heart, which is rarely a popular decision. The comments are also priceless. I love how all these great "yogis" are upset about what you wrote. Their egos make your writings a personal attack on them and their responses are priceless. I hope to run into you some day and maybe share a discussion. Other than your new e-magazine, I am wondering what you are doing now. Whatever it is, I hope you're finding contentment.

    Namaste, ADAM

  30. Ann Yocum says:

    We all have our own path or calling so to speak, whatever it is ,whether it is to teach yoga or skydiving or writing our own story. This is life, no one has just one path, it changes and I liked your description of how your path changed. Life is a mystery but exciting and scary and wonderful! I love the crazy journey myself. I feel like we all have at least 9 lives. It never gets boring, that is for sure. Thanks for sharing your story.

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