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  • Yoga in the Modern World (Part 2)

    [ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 113 ]

    An entire industry has sprung up to service the growing demand from people wanting to become yoga teachers, all the while turning a blind eye to the very fact that one cannot simply wake up one day and choose to teach yoga. One must first come to 'know yoga', and knowing yoga well enough to do it justice as a teacher is a process that takes time — often a LONG LONG time.

    << Read Yoga In The Modern World - Part 1

    Only experience—the wisdom gained from the trials and tribulations of deep and profound self-examination, insight gained through relentless introspection, and awareness developed from extreme discipline and self-sacrifice—can qualify one to guide others along the often tenuous and unfamiliar trail that is the yogic path.

    This very fact is not even acknowledged by most of the growing number of so-called 'schools of yoga', many of whom operate under an extremely narrow view of this ancient and profound science.

    Some offer up yoga teacher training as readily and as casually as any community college program in computer repair or web design, pumping out new yoga teachers by the bus-load, week after week, month after month, year after year. Teaching people to teach yoga has become a business not unlike any other business around today.

    If yoga is a tradition that has been preserved and passed down for hundreds, even thousands of years (which it is!), how did this current environment come to pass? Where, when and how did we go so far astray in such a short period of time?

    Many factors have contributed to this ostensibly degenerate state of yogic affairs. There have undoubtedly been many people over the recent decades who have done a great disservice to this ancient science of yoga, either as a result of their own self-serving actions and attitudes, or simply unintentionally.

    The list extends both to the numerous so-called 'yogis' who came from India to Western countries over the past several decades, as well as to many of their subsequent Western students who merely followed their teacher's examples.

    Most of these teachers were, and perhaps still are the most well-intentioned people. But as you may have heard the saying, "the pursuit of yoga (the higher life) is a 'razor’s edge'."

    Many of these Indian gurus have indeed attained great heights in their spiritual journeys, but another saying goes, "The higher the climb, the farther the potential fall."

    Some have indeed fallen hard, becoming embroiled in scandal and sunken to ruin when they let their teachings and their own behaviour begin to wander from the yogic path.

    It was numerous examples of this upon which much of the foundation of modern-day yoga was built in the West, during a time period where the yogic movement saw its most significant growth from the early 1960's and 70's onward...

    Yoga In The Modern World - Part 3 >>

    NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

    "The Science of Yoga is a course worthy of

    leather binding and an honored place in the
    finest libraries in the world 
    ... It is indeed a masterful work."


    Dr. John Michael Christian


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