Just because you do yoga doesn’t mean you are a yogi. Sorry to break it to you. I’m guilty of it too, sometimes. We get on our mats and stretch and sweat and think, “Ok, I’m good for the day.” And we think we’ve crossed off something on our karma list. But just because you practice yoga, it doesn’t mean you follow the path of yoga. Anyone can buy a mat, go to class and sweat through a bunch of poses. But how many of us take our practice off our mats and really, I mean really, live our yoga? Think about how you act outside of the yoga studio. Do you curse someone out when they cut you off on the road? Do you assume that person is just a jerk who has no manners or patience whatsoever? What if you applied your yoga to that moment? Maybe that person is a manner-less jerk. But maybe, just maybe they acted that way because their dog just died and that’s all they can think about–not you, not the road, not the rules of road or manners even. So if you took your yoga outside the studio and off of your mat, you could offer that person just a little bit of compassion and end the cycle of negativity? Sure, they cut you off. But no there was no accident (hopefully) and no one was hurt, except for your pride or your ego? Many times, we let our emotions lead us around by the nose, dictating how we talk, act, and do things? Yoga is much more than putting on a pair of stretchy pants and sweating for an hour. It’s about putting on your best self and sweating out the tough things in life, all while breathing and trying our best to stay on our mats. It’s a long, hard path–and a beautifully difficult one at that.
So, on a larger scale, what of yoga in America? Has it gotten so far from its core that all we are is a bunch of spandex-wearing sweat hogs who say we do yoga but don’t really walk the talk?
NYC-based filmmaker Vikram Gandhi (yes, that’s really his last name) decided to find out. And to do this, he posed as a “false” prophet for his film ”Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet,” in order to find real truth. DDR can’t wait to see the film, to find out what kind of reaction we will have to it. Either way, the film, as the creator says, is intent on turning the mirror on ourselves and finding out what is true about us and maybe even about our yoga practice. Because you can’t hide the emotions that come from your yoga practice. No mater how hard you try, the sweat is going to force some truth out–even if it happens slowly, one drop at a time.