A Meditation

Can yoga practised today in a rational, square studio space truly claim to fully represent and embody the rich philosophical and historical tradition of yogic practice? Is a disclaimer made at the door?

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8 responses to A Meditation

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  1. Jessica De Chaves says:

    When looking at Yoga, disability studies comes to my mind and how Yoga is a great for individuals who suffer from neurodegenerative disorders more specifically Parkinson’s disease and the non-progressive disorder cerebral palsy. People with Parkinson’s benefit from regular exercise and activities like Yoga because it helps prevent joint deformity, improve joint mobility, improve coordination and balance, increase muscle strength and flexibility, reduce muscle cramping, improve posture,, reduce stress levels and increase confidence in performing daily activities. Yoga helps work on improving sensory systems that help with physical activity, body awareness, balance and body effort. Yoga also helps people with cerebral palsy because they have poor muscle tone, posture, coordination, balance and reflexes. They experience plasticity, involuntary movement, an unsteady gate, toes walking and locked knees. Yoga is great because with the increase in technology people everyone can access is any time and anywhere. It can be viewed on the television, instructional books, DVDs, videotapes and on the Internet.

  2. Michelle Reichert says:

    Yoga is a practice which originated in India as far back as 3000BC. Yoga practices were originally thought to lead to a spiritual experience and profound understanding or insight into the nature of existence. It was also intimately connected to the religious beliefs and practices of the Indian religions. These rationales are commonly lost in current practise however I would not say this is due to the environment in which it is performed but rather to the values and goals in which one participates. Current culture do not tend to value this interconnectedness and quest to gain a profound insight into life as those did back in the time in which is was created. Many people now a days participate for the health benefits and the chance to escape from the stresses of everyday life. However, even with a different goal in mind many of the positions and movement characteristics have remained. Such as creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. As well, the motions of performing poses and postures in succession while focusing on breathing and posture. In more advanced levels some of the traditional focuses are integrated such as the union of body mind and spirit. Therefore, current yoga practices may not represent the philosophical and historical traditions but this is not due to the environment in which it is practiced.

  3. Leanna Koleszar says:

    I think the main idea behind yoga is gaining the ability to be embodied and forget the environment around you allowing yourself to take in the relaxation and new free environment that is entered during meditation or in this case yoga. I think that as long as the person is able to let themselves relax and the union of the body and mind take place it would not matter where it is being done as long as the person feels comfortable enough to let them self relax and let go of the surrounding environment.

  4. Jackie North says:

    There is no way yoga practiced in a rational, square studio space truly claims to fully represent and embody the rich philosophical and historical tradition of yoga practice. There are so many different type of yogas as well.

    For example, fitness yoga generally does not go much into meditation at all giving a very different ecperience.

    Well yoga resorts for example in Hawaii may be getting quite close to the traditional and the full yoga experience.

    In Canada, we do have some fairly good instructors and the yoga conferences held in Toronto every year seem to be a very benificial tool in getting the high quality class expereince.

    However, it depends on the personality of the instructor and also having a connection with them.

    There is clearly no disclaimer at the door.

    You try it, you like it, you come back :)

  5. Katie Donohue says:

    I believe that yes, yoga in its non-traditional form can still embody the philisophical and historical tradition that people expect from if they are willing to alter their state of mind. I think that its an individuals decision to practice yoga and put themselves in a place where they can experience the practice of traditional yoga.

    If they seek other benefits from yoga, such as fitness or flexibility, they wouldn't care about traditional setting. This alternative motive for practicing yoga may be why it has changed from its original form to how it is preform now. Possibly, the demand for this activity to promote health, instead of spiritual and relgious reasons, caused yoga to move into the studio, so that its benefits for a different population, and also profit could be maximized.

    I do believe that it would be easier to experience traditional yoga in its full potential in a more historical, spritual setting, but ultimately, it is up to the individual to take from this class what they wish, whether it be health and fitness, or spirituality and insight.

  6. Lisa Clarke says:

    The purpose of yoga is not to worry about where it is being practiced but rather the purpose is to enlighten one’s soul and find fulfillment with in every day life. The purpose of “yoga” today has become a workout style, somewhat like a cycling class. A lot of people use yoga as a relaxing and physically enhancing class. Originally, yoga was a state of mind as much as it was a way to work out your body.

  7. Kate Verheyen says:

    I feel that if one looks into the origin of yoga, as it dates back to 3300 BC, where the intended purpose was to gain spiritual experiences and a profound understanding into the nature of existence, that no, one does not achieve this in a square, modern-day studio. I believe that yoga today has become so unbelievably over commercialized, that half of the people who participate in yoga, are only really seeing the physical, or material side of the activity. In today's society, yoga has become this incredibly trendy physical activity to participate in, and the emphasis on spirituality and relaxation has now shifted towards, "who comes to yoga class in the newest and hottest lululemon outfit."
    What it all comes down to is, what one experiences through yoga completely depends on what you personally want out of it. I believe yoga in modernized studios has the capacity to provide people with an outlet to relieve stress in their lives, and teach people to calm both their minds and their bodies.
    But the question is, are people really seeking this through yoga? Maybe, but perhaps yoga for the younger population IS really all about the fancy yoga pants and the tight yoga butt, and nothing deeper than that.

  8. Mary Beatty says:

    I don't think that you can gain the enriched tradition of yoga in a single room with 20-30 other people around you, but I also don't think that's the point in our western culture. I think in Canada in the US people us yoga as a form of exercise that allows for flexability, and in some ways to blow out their stressful environment. I think there is a large misconception when it comes to yoga, finding a new spirtuality isn't always gaunteed, it completely depends on the person and what they are trying to get out of it.