As the first generation of westerners (the hippies from the late 60’s/early 70’s) approach their 70’s and 80’s, as well as those that came after them through the 1980’s, we are able to see the results of their pioneering explorations into the path of yoga/meditation. In general, the overall consensus would be that through that experimentation a lot of mistakes (valuable ones - we should all be grateful for everyone who came before us) were made, and we have come to a place now, more than ever, where as a global community we are questioning the validity and appropriateness of the practices of yoga that were once the domain of ascetics and renunciants who practiced them as forms of austerity. We are at the point of asking, “What is the point?” “Does it really matter if I can put my leg behind my head, or hold my breath for hours and go into deep states of absorption - if I still end up facing and succumbing to the same anger, jealousy, envy, lust, greed and apathy as everyone else?” And now we have the Instagram craze where the world has got caught up in chasing ‘shapes’ and followers, but already we are seeing the dissent this is creating as we are forced to ask deeper questions; as we realise that this was not what it was about, and the chase creates more feelings of emptiness and moves us further away from the sense of wholeness that we were longing for.
These are important questions and a necessary phase for us all to work through. In my own practice it’s as if I’m only just beginning again, as I look more deeply into the purpose of it all and what is at the core of what drives me to practice.