One of my favourite blogs is called The Shift Has Hit the Fan. The latest post there (click link in first sentence to visit) begins like this:
As some of you may or may not know, my yoga article got picked up by Elephant Journal a few days ago and after a few thousand hits, several hundred FaceBook shares and many, many comments on EJ as well as Reddit, I think a few details need to be clarified.
Intrigued, I checked out the Elephant Journal comments, many of which defended the American version of yoga. The first time I visited, I was able to read the article and the comments, but when I returned just now, I was greeted by this:
I was unable to pull the comment that said something to the effect: “I am a yoga teacher in America. If I didn’t advertise, I couldn’t make any money,” but I was able to pull some of the sidebar ad illustrations off the site and have scattered them throughout this post. Sorry, I haven’t included links to the sites, but if you go to Elephant Journal, you can visit the sites, buy some hot yoga gear, join an American-style yoga group and attend an exciting yoga event. Hey, if you’re a guy, you might even score with one of those hot yoga chicks! If you’re a girl, you might meet a yogi with 6-pack yogi abs! If you’re bisexual, you can have a field day! No matter what your sexual orientation may be, you can score with yoga and become enlightened at the same time!
This is going to sound bloody self-righteous, but it’s the way I feel, so here goes:
Back in 1969, I dropped out of college and became a yoga instructor at a fledgling yoga retreat in the lower Sierra Mountains of California. I did that for two summers and then quit in disgust. I didn’t have a problem with people paying to attend the retreats, but I did have a problem with my growing awareness that the American “swami” who ran the retreat wasn’t all he pretended to be. I also had a problem with the growing awareness that I wasn’t all I thought I was. This hit me between the eyes one evening after I led a group meditation and someone bowed down to me and called me her guru. I was young, I was in terrific shape and I was dedicated to yoga, but I sure as hell wasn’t a guru.
I haven’t been posting here lately. That’s largely because I can’t find anything positive to share in the world of “higher consciousness.” Everywhere I look online, spirituality is mixed with sales hustle and in my opinion, the two just don’t mix.
Anyway, since I can’t in good conscience hustle sales on this site, I’ve been focusing my attention on my 2 other blogs, Sihanoukville Journal and Writing Resources. I’m in no position to preach to anybody, but I agree with the yoga teacher who posted a comment on another blog I like. They said they have a day job and teach yoga for free on weekends because they feel their practice would be tainted if they started thinking of it as a career. When I tried advertising here, I found myself thinking more about ad copy and less about spirituality, so I’ve removed all but the ads for Transparent Corp and some books I like. My writing career is my day job and the money I make from ads on my websites adds a little extra income and helps keep me up with the times in SEO.
Okay, I’ve had my say. If meeting hot chicks is your yoga goal, take it from me, it works. I could have scored with that girl who wanted me to be her guru, but an annoying tendency towards integrity prevented me from taking advantage of the opportunity.