The industrialisation of yoga is turning yogis into just that, a number that passes through a revolving door. The more studios I see opening around me the larger they seem to be. If you got into yoga as a business owner to make money then you are not a yogi at all. Teaching yoga is a service from the heart, not the wallet.
The knowledge and practice of yoga is traditionally passed down directly from the teacher to the student through a very personal and intimate relationship. That contact is lost when the shala, or studio, is big enough to house 25+ people for one lesson. At this point you are doing nothing better than watching a yoga lesson online at home because the teacher sure as hell won’t see you lost in the crowd to adjust you in warrior II to make sure you don’t blow out your knee. Sure, we can exercise in a large group and the energy dynamic is fun and motivating but yoga is not exercise. It’s mediation in motion to help us shut down the brain and hear the voice of our inner, true, self. That being said, meditation in large groups is very powerful but the physical aspect of yoga can be dangerous if not done under the care of a teacher. All of us have different physical pasts and we all carry certain physical issues that can not be addressed in mass.
I have practiced in large groups before but that is usually for a one off workshop with an inspiring teacher or part of a bigger training program. This makes sense. But a daily yoga practice should not be treated like one of these events. When you step on the mat in front a teacher the teacher should be able to give you personalised attention to help you move further in your practice. They should know your name, your body and how you are progressing on the path. They shouldn’t be on a platform in front of a large group showing off how great they can do the asana and just giving verbal instruction.
This used to make me furious but now I simply don’t care because true yogis see through this charade and will eventually find their way to a teacher that makes themselves available for a more in depth relationship. This is why our studios are small and we will never have a warehouse style studio. It’s just simply not yoga. Of course we make less money than they do but we are not in it for money. We are in it for the direct contact with students and teachers alike to inspire and motivate each other to be better people and to keep moving further along our individual paths.
We are here for you! Let’s go further, together.