Double Standards

Everywhere I look it seems I see a double standard staring at me.  Aparigraha is a basic tenet of the life of a yogi and yet daily I see the heart of yoga turning more toward profits.  Yoga Journal has advertisements that masquerade as articles.  Prana is not the breath but a clothing line.  Practicing asanas requires at least a sticky mat now, I thought it simply required a body with which to practice?  Today I learned that others seem to believe that satya and brahmacharya should apply to everyone but themselves.  First, lie about what is happening and then admit to having the affairs that were covered up by the first lies and then tell everyone in the world to not do it Even though we did.

What is the root of all this paradox?  Personally, I think it is an attitude that is expressed very well by this statement:

The Need for Personal Practice

I teach 12 yoga classes per week and find it difficult to fit in my own personal asana practice. The eight-limb system has other limbs besides asanas. Is it appropriate to study the other limbs as my practice, or is daily asana practice necessary to be a true yoga teacher?


Read Maty Ezraty’s repsonse:

Dear Lynne,

It is important at any stage of one’s teaching to study the other limbs of yoga. However, this should not be a substitute for asana practice. You should study the other limbs in conjunction with regular asana practice.

Why the focus on asana practice?  Is it truly more important than the other seven limbs?  I do agree with the concept that one must practice what one teaches.  I would say that focusing on any one limb is no substitute for the practice of any other limb.  It is the extreme focusing on just the asanas that, in my opinion, leads to the paradoxes I mention above.  Is a constant study and practice of all eight limbs going to prevent greed or teachers from having affairs with their students?  No, there will always be those who will abuse their position for one reason or another but I do believe that practicing all eight limbs will dramatically reduce the current trend of turning Yoga into an exercise franchise that is nothing more than a vague mockery of the long spiritual heritage that is Yoga.