I came across an interesting article in the New Yorker online regarding the unorthodox approach of Tara Stiles who has stirred up something of a controversy over her approach to teaching Yoga. She refuses to pledge allegiance to one style of yoga and her philosophy is to open yoga up to those who may find it intimidating. Hence she has a yoga phone app; has released a video called “Slim, Calm and Sexy and regularly uploads short videos to her You-tube channel on topics such as Yoga for a Hangover.
To many this is absolute heresy while for others including Deepak Chopra it’s a breath of fresh air. He says, “Taking lessons from her has been more useful to me than taking yoga from anyone else.”
It’s an interesting debate. I do feel yoga can be intimidating for some and I would love to attract more people into it as I am totally convinced of its merits. However it cannot be diluted to the extent that it is seen as just another quick fix for fitness and weight loss, or indeed as a purely physical exercise.
We often have people ring us here asking what style of yoga we offer and they can be disappointed when we can’t answer that simply. Here at The Karma Studio we don’t adhere to one style, preferring rather to mix and match classes, clients and moods. As trained Yoga therapists, not just teachers, we aim to provide a yoga that not only trains the body but heals it, doesn’t only relax the muscles but also the mind.
As with all things it is about balance. In this case balance between not being afraid to adapt an ancient tradition to a new world while also maintaining the integrity of yoga and its wonderful heritage.
Tell me what you think – does yoga need an image change and to “get with it”?