I find myself less and less open to spending money on yoga classes.
Everyone and their grandma is a yoga teacher.
My mom went to a yoga class in Edmonton where they listened to lady gaga and got scented neck massages in shavasana.
I feel like yoga teacher training is becoming more and more a money making thing, and there are less and less teachers who I want adjusting my body—let alone holding a space for my practice.
Studios are happy to certify, but with no intention of hiring some pupils. I think as yoga has blown up and become the “hip” and “in” thing—but we have lost track a little of what yoga really is.
I think everyone, their grandma and dog would be happier and better off if they took up yoga or another expression of self care. I’m just saying, you can always tell the imitation crab meat from the good stuff—so be careful who you look to as a mentor or teacher. Not all mentors deserve your absolute trust and vulnerability.
James Arthur Ray is a great example of how we should trust our gut, first.
James Arthur Ray is a motivational speaker/author who has appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live and Oprah. His book “Harmonic Wealth” is a New York Times best seller and has frequented on The Today Show. He was also a guest speaker in the film The Secret.
People paid up to 10,000 dollars to participate in his retreats. Credibility wise, he sounded safe as sound on paper to follow.
Ray incorporated sleep deprivation, fasting, fire and glass walking and sweat lodge methods into his retreats.
October 8, 2009, at a New Age “Spiritual Warrior” lead by Ray at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Yavapai County near Sedona, Arizona, two participants, James Shore and Kirby Brown, died as a result of being in a nontraditional sweat lodge exercise. 18 others were hospitalized after suffering burns, dehydration, breathing problems, kidney failure, or elevated body temperature. Liz Neuman, another attendee, died October 17 after being comatose for a week.
It was said that some participants claimed to be feeling off during the sweat lodge, however were told to push on.
“The true spiritual warrior has conquered death and therefore has no fear or enemies in this lifetime or the next, because the greatest fear you’ll ever experience is the fear of what? Death,” Ray said in a recording played during the trial. “You will have to get a point to where you surrender and it’s okay to die.”
Certification means diddley, gut means everything.
So as we chase our growth through yoga and look to mentors or teachers, we must be careful not to throw ourselves at just anything or anyone—be mindful.
You know you best.
Love the crap out of whatever icon, guru or teacher you want to worship—but listen to your gut, your intuition. Don’t turn it off. If a yoga teacher doesn’t feel knowledgeable, authentic or safe, then don’t go to their class.
The beautiful thing with yoga blowing up like Kim Kardashian’s buns is that we have a plethora of teachers, practices and studios to look to.
There will be a yoga teacher that will make you stand in line all day for the soul Koolaide, and a practice that will knock your socks off. If you haven’t found a teacher who makes you tick, then don’t spend the money.
All we need for yoga is the earth, a towel, a mat—not necessarily new, our bodies, our accountability to show up and our breath. We can do yoga wherever and whenever we wish.
We don’t need Luluemon, Spiritual Gangster, mala beads, the newest bestest yoga mat, crystals—nah, for yoga we just need ourselves.
The basics of a good yoga class will focus on alignment, breath, presentness, and community. You will know when you find the teacher and class for you.
Don’t be afraid to save your dollars and wait.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Janne Robinson
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own