Yoga in the West often looks like just another way to consume: books, DVDs and music, classes with celebrity yogis, trainings, cool clothing, accessories and adventure travel to exotic locales. Magazines like Yoga Journal with their glossy covers and good-looking cover models often performing advanced poses perpetuate the idea that we are not good enough as we are, but this or that product or service will surely do the trick.
So, it was refreshing to find another article by environmentalist, Bill McKibben, in the May edition of YJ, delivering to the yoga community the same message he is known for: that if we don’t change our consuming ways, and soon, “the thing we call ‘civilization’ will simply become a sputtering mechanism for responding to emergencies.” Not even Iron Man will be able to save us. In other words, it is truly past time to get off our mats and start living our yogic principles where they matter the most: in the world.
Question. Can yoga (meditation, veganism, the local food movement, Occupy, Transition, or _____ fill in the blank with your favorite cause) act as a catalyst for social change? In this article in Yoga Brains, three writers weigh in on the subject. Shannon Gannon, co-founder of Jivamukti (roughly translated, freedom in this lifetime) Yoga, is bang on that practiced as it was intended, yoga cannot and should not be separated from activism.
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