Yoga politics attained new dimensions of drama these past few weeks. Apart from ongoing court case of a peeping tom who spied on yoginis at a Boulder yoga festival, John Friend and Anusara was accused, among other things, by the New York Times of training a generation of yogis to “Think Off” (read the article to discover this fascinating new sexual practice). So now yoga could look to the masses like a giant sex cult. Thanks, sensationalist journalists with an agenda.
Then we finally got the lowdown on Jois yoga in Vanity Fair. It’s enough to make you want to seal up your meditation cave. If the people who run the show can’t seem to get it together and make friends, then really, what is the point?
Each day you have the opportunity to bypass the messengers and connect directly to the source. That source is your breath. Practicing the simple techniques of pranayama (which can be as simple as consciously watching the breath), especially when combined with asana, mudra and dristi, will transform your life, moment by moment. Working consciously with the breath is the same as working directly with the mind–think of the breath as pre-speech. Bringing it under your watch allows you to identify patterns in the mind. Once identified, you can use this feedback to make intelligent choices.
But you have to follow your own breath, not someone else’s. And if you allow yourself to get distracted by all the noise on the airwaves, you are essentially watching someone else’s breath.
So follow your own breath.