From Merchandise of all sorts, right from fancy clothing, bolsters, mats, drink bottles, eye pillows, bead/crystal jewelry- footwear, toys, and many other things have flooded the world Yoga market. The advertising and promotions such that a practitioner of Yoga in simple tracks feels just that pinch of fear of being left behind by the ‘spiritual bandwagon’.The worldwide Yoga industry is worth $80 billion today!
But do not you think -Yoga and commercialization is an Oxymoron?
Surely, it is not just a matter of cultural appropriation as many call it all around the world, especially in western countries. It is more of a capitalist effort and given the wave of materialism sweeping the world Yoga is being engulfed in it too, which is absolutely opposite to what Yoga teaches.
The aim of Yoga is to make people more joyful, simple, content, non-judgemental, and most importantly less materialistic.
Yoga teaches people to be positive in their lives and they stop comparing themselves with others and know their own potential, but is this possible if we keep spreading the message that Yoga is about perfect poses on social media in exclusive pants. Sages who devised Yoga in ancient India would have chuckled to see what modern-day trappings have got connected to Yoga.
Let us remind ourselves and ruminate on some of the key gems of the Yama-Niyamas, especially in this context-
1) Aparigraha- Non-hoarding
Let’s try not to accumulate things that we do not need.
2) Satya- Truthfulness
Keep yourself away from the hoax of social media (even if you need to use social media be mindful to the time you spend and the content you share). Be truthful to yourself and to your practice.
3) Tapas- a burning enthusiasm for one’s practice
Let’s be patient with our practice and trust the process, there is nothing quick in Yogic practices. Stay away from those who commit to having instant healings or awakenings.
4) Santosha- Contentment could be what one would focus on to veer away from this over-externalizing. Contentment is the best gift we can give ourselves.
In Yoga philosophy this material world is known as ‘’Maya’’ which attracts (moh) humans in various ways, let us remind ourselves that our objective is to break the walls of Maya, know the true light, and let the truth shines.
Let us come over to Maya, Moh (attractions), and Manipulations of the modern Yoga world.
asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
om shanti shanti shanti.
Lead me from the untruth to the truth
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality
Om Peace Peace Peace.