29 May '14
Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw
Krishnamacharya had a business card and advertised his work with posters. He had photographers shoot pics of his most athletic yoga poses with glamorous lighting. He took “propaganda tours” to advertise the benefits of yoga to the youth of India.
It is not wrong for yogis to embrace the market and the world.
The market brings something karmic to yogic culture and practice, and it’s absence allows something more jnanic (knowledge based). If you detach from the world’s game of commerce, like yogis of old, you have the kind of time and freedom that makes great insight possible. But in applying knowledge and working in the world, where dualities reign, the life of knowledge always takes a hit.
We must decide what each of us wants in this incarnation. Will you choose the world of Shakti–of work and creation–or the world of Shiva–of knowledge and the end of the karmic cycle? Of course, the jnanic option–yogis on the hilltop–is more glamorous, because it is rarer, but it isn’t better.
Householders and yogis are both the work of Purusha and Prakriti, spirit and nature, emptiness and fullness.
Householders must engage the market. It can accelerate our self-actualization to do so. Apparently, the great teacher, Krishnamacharya, did it a little, and appears to have avoided compromising himself. This helps give today’s yogis permission to follow our positive marketing instincts.
Selfish capitalism is destroying the world, but I think an enlightened capitalism will save it. Many yogis are leading the way in exploring responsible, life-affirming economic practices, and thereby helping lead humanity to successfully confront it’s great challenges.
The market is neither good nor evil. It is what we make of it.
Let us all commit to using it–as Krishnamacharya seems to have done–to make our communities and world fully, grandly and happily thrive.