What is the future of yoga in the West? That’s the sincere question I posted in various forms to some of the prominent yogis of the West, at the Wanderlust Festival in Whistler.
The question is fraught with peril. After all, what is the ‘West’ anymore in a globalized society? And who can draw the distinction between what is truly “yoga” and what is a grandiose exercise class draped in pseudo spirituality?Seane Corn, Janet Stone, Chris Chavez, MC Yogi, Eoin Finn, Sjanie Mcinnis and Wanderlust co-founder Schulyer Grant all weigh in with their thoughts, which I crafted into a synthesis that captures the broad snapshot of Western “yoga” at this moment.
I’ll admit: I’m not a yoga scholar. I’ve practiced for 4 years, with a goal of 2-3 times per week (when I can). I’ve read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and watched films like “Planet Yoga.” I’ve had moments of skepticism that the mainstream yoga I see will result in any significant shift away from our current destructive paradigm. And yet…
On the Friday night of Wanderlust, I shot inches from Seane Corn and Michael Franti as they guided the crowd of hundreds through an ecstatic group experience. I marvelled as she expertly wove a spell of spiritual empowerment and global potential, while Michael accompanied with his guitar and delicate lyrics. As the tempo reached its frenzied peak, I felt something… call it the arising of collective intelligence. Call it a moment of mysterious bliss. All I know is that there was that it hinted at something more powerful than any of us understand.
And it’s emerging in multiple forms, through multiple voices.
Update: Read the thought-provoking response to the video posted at Yoga Brains.