Yoga, a Sex Cult?…

Yep, here I go again talking about the latest high-profile news in yoga.

Just in case you haven’t heard, the New York Times has declared that yoga originated as a “Sex Cult” in an article called, “Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here.” I feel the urge to say, “how rude” (Full House style). I’m honestly starting to think that this William Broad guy just likes the attention. (William Broad is the guy that wrote “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body…” Oh yeah! Remember him?)

The article: Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here (William Broad: New York Times)

Response: Please join my Tantric yoga sex cult (Mark Morford: San Francisco Chronicle)

Response: Christopher Wallis addresses “factual errors” in New York Times article: Yoga and Sex Scandals (Flow Yoga Magazine)

“I’m happy to report the NYT and Broad are mostly full of crap on this. Yoga is a physical, spiritual, energetic, wildly interconnected practice that can transform every aspect of your world. It’s based on some powerfully sacred, ancient philosophy and scriptural teachings that only want you to become a fully realized, divinely illuminated being, right now, this very second, on your very next breath — no gods, guilt, cultish sex rites or blind faith required. What’s not to like?” ~Mark Morford

Read the articles, come to your own conclusions.

Oh yeah, and just in case you didn’t know, exercise in general raises libido.

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How the New York Times can Wreck Yoga…

Okay, so I stole that heading from Marshall Hagins, but I loved it too much not to use it. So here’s the article that has gotten so much attention lately…

And here are the responses…
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When I first read the article I wasn’t as worked up as some yogi’s. I took it with a grain of salt knowing that the flaws in anything can be taken out of context and made believable. Yes, it’s unfortunate that the article may scare some people away from yoga. But I think that Leslie Kaminoff said it so well that I just have to use his words… “This article said ‘shoulderstand, plow, and head stand are dangerous.’ It didn’t say, when certain people do it who have certain things going on in their body in a certain way, it can be dangerous. That’s a big fat ‘duh.’ I mean, who didn’t know that?”
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The reason yoga is held so high and has so many health claims is not just simply because of the poses. It’s not simply the activity. It is the state of mind that you fall into while breathing deep and stretching your body in such a way that it feels good. If you go so far that it doesn’t feel good, you shouldn’t be there. Simple as that.
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“When there is a great potential for making money, quality is usually the first thing to be sacrificed. Fast food, anyone? It is unfortunate that this is exactly what we are facing now – yoga has been McDona-fied. It has been reduced from a practice that traditionally demanded dedication, discipline, sacrifice, humility, surrender, love, devotion, and self-investigation – and yes, suffering through rigorous practice – to something that one can now learn to ‘teach’ in a weekend. Or, more popularly, in a mere 200 hours you can become a bonafide, registered yoga instructor. 200 hours is spit. It is a joke. And it is a joke that is leading a tradition – one which, granted, has even in India been subject to ridicule – to an even greater harm.  We have an opportunity, in the West, to bring these transformative teachings to places where they will result in the greatest good. It is true that this is already happening – in schools, prisons, hospitals, with veterans, and as well with people who simply walk into a class off of the street – but it is also true that a rotten apple can spoil the barrel, and the yoga industry apple is a mighty big apple.” ~ Marshall Hagins
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We shall see what The Science of Yoga book has to bring. Hopefully not so many inaccuracies.
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Happy and healthy practice to you,