Thursday, July 21, 2011
(PICTURE: My wife, the yoga guru.)
Take a deep breath everyone as I'm about to write something that might offend. Here goes: Yoga, as we know it, is a scam. Don't believe anyone who tells you that yoga is an Indian thing. No, yoga is a western invention, no ifs ands or buts. Sure it might have started in India but the yoga we know (and pay lots of money for) is completely westernized. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with yoga. I thin it's a great form of exercise that really shapes your body. However, for those who go to India to practice, save your cash. What you'll find in India are:
1. Gurus who are no better than your average white chic with an "om" tattoo on her back.
2. Generally gurus who come from the west. We went to one of the most famous ashrams in India and not only was everyone in the class a westerner, but the guru was from NJ.
Huyen and I rarely ever saw any Indian people actually doing yoga. One morning we went to a park where we heard there was "laughing yoga." We walked the whole park and didn't see anyone doing anything more than some neck rolls. By far our worst experience though was in Khajuraho. We had specifically stayed at the Yogi Lodge because it included free yoga every morning. Well on the first morning we asked about the yoga and the owner seemed a little bit caught off guard. He told us we could do it at his other guest house which was a ten minute bike ride away. When we showed up, we were taken upstairs and proceeded to do yoga on a concrete floor. Actually, technically we didn't do it on the floor; we did it on a FILTHY thin carpet that the yoga "instructor" rolled out. This carpet was out of a movie. If you stomped on it, dust flew up. The worst part though was the instructor. We told him right off that we were beginners, yet within five minutes he was asking us to do pretzels. We literally looked at him and laughed. He would then put his legs behind his head and tell us to do what he was doing. We then laughed again. He then would ask how much yoga instructors get paid in America. After digesting this, he asked us for a donation. A donation? For what? Clearly, for him. We told him that the yoga was included with the guest house and he said he knew that but that we should give him "a present." This time we awkwardly laughed and then got the hell out of there.