The Business of Yoga

We cannot let the widespread popularity of yoga minimize the significance it holds for a single person. – BKS Iyengar

For those of you who read Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal or have paid attention to the recent press surrounding the novel and movie Eat Pray Love, you know there is a bit of a rift right now in the yoga world. Yoga has gone commercial, and some people aren’t so happy about that.

Tune into the debate at Elephant Journal, where author of Yoga Demystified, Bob Weisenberg, sheds light on his perspective: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/08/capitalism-is-good-for-yoga-rebuttal-to-rameshs-sex-lies-and-yoga/

Bob brings up one good point: it is the commercialization and widespread popularity of yoga practice today that has given most of us the chance to be exposed to what is, at its heart, an ancient spiritual and metaphysical practice with origins all the way in India.

How many of you took to the mat for the first time after seeing those cute bodies in booty shorts in the lululemon window? How many of you chose to practice after reading Eat Pray Love? Admittedly, many of us were exposed to yoga through businesses who sell it.

As a yoga business, The Green Yogi is poised in the heart of this debate. We aim to deliver a spiritual, safe space where our students can aim for the highest goals. But we also want to deliver yoga to the masses in Manhattan Beach. If it is up to us, all those surfers and bar-hoppers will also become studio-hoppers. We believe yoga has the power to be both a spiritual practice and a business. What do you believe?

Do you think yoga should aim to reach the masses, using commercialism to spread the good word? Or would you prefer to keep yoga in a sacred place for only those who are truly devoted?

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