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April 27, 2015
April 27, 2015
I don't agree with you at all. If it wasn't for props we'd be teaching yoga classes in the mud, grass and dirt outside. Yoga wouldn't be popular at all. Yes, yoga has gone commercial, but we're lucky to have full classes. Mats are props and the styles that use many props are therapeutic. BKS Iyengar and TKV Deshikar worked miracles with props. This became an evolution for yoga therapy and restorative styles to work their magic. Props aren't a fad or some way for studios to open a pro shop. Most yoga teachers don't have the cash to stock every prop in demand. I can't beat the prices at the local big box discount store, so I send my students over there. My buy price for a good quality mat is more than the discount store's retail price. Students need props, unless they are all expert level or part-time dancers. Asking new students to tough it out shows a lack of regard for their safety.
April 27, 2015
Props are a marketing ploy. Please be careful if you are a beginner, intermediate, or experienced participant or a Yoga instructor. Even interns are roped into thinking that the sale of props will make better sales during their yoga instructor training. After all, how much do yoga instructors make? As interest has dramatically increased in the past ten plus years, so have marketers trying to exploit the ancient practice and meditation. Like most things, simplicity is always the key. Such is the case especially regarding Yogic exercise.
If you feel pressured to purchase items for classes, please remember the history of the ancient practice. Yogic exercise has been around for centuries and employed on the material and immaterial parts of a human being and the very ground he or she was sitting upon. Mind, body, soul, and earth require not additional materials.
Props have never been part of the Yogic tradition. Meditation requires nothing but a quiet soul, mind, and relaxed body. Therefore, be wary of commercials, articles, or people pressuring you to embrace a better experience than the most natural and historical experience - no props, no gimmicks, nothing but you!
Because Yoga training has gained such an enormous following, marketers without any knowledge other than marketing have attempted to exploit the ancient art. It is only an elementary understanding of classes that causes one to be tempted by the gimmicks, toys, and props. They are mostly junk and not warranting time or effort. The most fulfilling Yoga will take place with the absence of all things, not the addition of anything.
The next time you are tempted to purchase anything additional for your personal Yoga training routine or for your class, please remember the beautiful history of the art form that has now been turned into a viable fitness option. Do not fraud yourself or those you instruct. Yoga teachers who push props that are not needed - shame on you. Your students do not need anything extra to make their experience one of excellence.
Now that you have the resolve to stay true to the ancient form of Yogic practice as originally intended, please remind those around you to stay away from gimmicks and savvy marketing professionals. They are unfamiliar with Yogic methods and are not concerned about your experience as a participant. Become an ambassador for the art form, not the next new great fad. As you move toward simplicity, you will see the transcendent beauty of Yogic philosophy. It can be practiced anywhere around the world because it requires only a person and the earth.
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