Opinion Blog: Commercialised Yoga

Commercialised Yoga Gone Too Far From Its Origin?


Bishnu Pokhrel, a law student from Nepal takes the commercialised yoga head on and expresses his strong ideas against the new wave of yoga movements like “Chicken Nugget Yoga”, “Naked Yoga”, “Beer Yoga” and others.


Recently, the online medias have been flooded with different Yoga practiced by some westerners. Different yogas like “Chicken Nugget Yoga”, “Naked Yoga”, “Beer Yoga” etc is widely being shared in online medias . The interesting part is that it is hugely commercialised. The original yoga that is all about “being one with oneself” has now taken different twist and turns. The very essence of yoga is going beyond the senses and the very practice of using unrelated things to practice yoga surely defeats the very purpose of Yoga i.e oneness. The mundane commercialisation of yoga has given rise to different forms of yoga which is entirely arbitrary and not related to Yoga itself.
One yoga studio situated in Manhattan has opened a Yoga studio named “Naked Yoga”. The rational behind naked yoga for them is that “when we are all naked we are all same”. Naked Yoga for them is all about being open from outside and for confidence issue. But they are not quite sure if this helps in overcoming the sexual impulse as they claim that during the session “erection do occur but rarely”. As per them even if the erection occurs it will pass on because of the nature of the yoga itself and people need not become embarrassed about it.
To put things in perspective, little research on Yoga is found to be contrary to the beliefs as presented above. The Patanjali Yoga sutra explains yoga as “chitta vritti nirodhak” which literally means “to restrict the activities of your psyche/mind”. The literal interpretation of the above axiom is that yoga helps you to break yourself from the bonds of your own mind and chitta. Yoga doesn’t fuel your senses and neither does it add fuel to the fire of the senses. In fact yoga is opposite, it restricts your mind from sense pleasure and turns your attention inwards.
The very notion of “erection” in midst of naked yoga session simplifies that yoga that is being carried being naked in the midst of the session somewhere triggers the lust inside you. Had there been no lust, there would be no erection. Yoga tries to keep mind free from triggers that is why Patanjali wants yogi to restrict the activities of mind and on the other hand naked yoga is like playing with fire in the hope that fire doesn’t burn you. This is wrong mindset of performing yoga.
Yoga is always lust free. The very notion of being naked is associated with lust when you are performing yoga in a co-ed session. You are basically asking two opposite sex to be naked and then perform postures. This is an end of yoga. The stream of yoga that started from the Himalaya, flowed down to the society just ends into the yoga studio of being naked.
This is just an abuse of yoga. This is using yoga to live in a fantasy because there is no other way any people will strip naked for anything else except porn. In fact, nothing can deviate far from yoga then performing yoga being naked in co-ed session.
Naked yoga will only make you naked, it will strip your cloths off but the real strip of maya which is the primary focus of Yoga will never be realised by stripping your cloths off, being naked is being ignorant. Naked yoga will make you naked and nothing more.


Bishnu Pokhrel . A law student from Nepal bishnupokhrelawyer@gmail.com

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