Who is the Best Yogi? Moving from Scarcity to Abundance

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Yoga Basics | 2 comments

who is the best yogi?

A couple of weeks ago I received a DM on my instagram about a “Yoga Asana Competition”.

A person was inviting me to an event among yoga teachers and practitioners. I paused for a second and then gave an answer: “Competition and yoga cannot stand next to each other”.

Of course she explained that “this is only a name” and there is no bad intention behind it and so on.

Seriously, who is the best yoga teacher? Who is the best yogi?

The western-style, asana-based yoga might be reproachable to some. I can see why, because the ancient wisdom of yoga is about training the mind, deep meditation and finding oneness through deep contemplation. Asana is just a small part to relax the body, get rid of emotional and mental residues and prepare the body for long meditations. 

However in today’s “western” society we are so used to living upon our minds, misusing our bodies that we need to get centered by regulating the waves of the mind first. Most people are so disconnected and living in a low potential that there is a lot of work to do with the physical body, the most material and massy sheath of the being. 

The second line of the book of yoga, the Yoga Sutras goes:

 “Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah”

which means:

“Yoga is the cessation of the modifications/fluctuations of the mind.”

If you ask me, I am a person who tries to see the “benefit” that a concept brings, of course without harming something else. So it makes sense to me that we are mostly interested in the asana part when the teaching of yoga started to get widespread. 

Because working heavily with the body helps the mind to relax. However the thin line of not manipulating the teaching towards the ego is crossed when we see the asanas as merely the means to get fit, more flexible or more muscular. In this case we start to idealize one type of body or one way of doing a certain asana. Even worse, we bring a “goal” or a “target” to the table. 

Of course being able to do certain postures corresponds to inner qualities and it’s significant but there is no better or worse yogi just because of being able to do a certain pose. That is why, as long as they stick to the inner practice, there is no best yoga teacher. The more yoga teachers, practitioners and yoga styles there are, the more abundance we have.

We might tend to think “Which class is the best?”, “In which course can I get the most information/efficiency?” but this is just the mind talking.

This is the reflection of what we have learned in today’s competition and separation based, abusive world. Seeing everything in a mechanical way, as if any teaching or experience is something to be exploited. The truth is any yoga class, an online event or a meditation session are all areas of experience. And the experience is always created in the moment. Every class you will ever be in will be different even if the name and the teacher is the same. We are intended to remain present in the experience. This is the essence of yoga.

This is also the reason why online yoga class videos won’t take you further after a while. A place of connectedness and the in-the-moment experience is another level when you practice with a room full of people and breathing together. 

So trying to short-cut knowledge, wanting to spend the least amount of time or money for holistic growth is just a scarcity mindset based fallacy. The fact is, there is no scarcity.

Another example is if a teacher earns more money, it doesn’t mean that the others will earn less. If a teacher has many students, so can another one. Imagine when they give a retreat or a training together, they will have more students together! Those students will get more varied experiences and a wider range of opinions. 

In HelloYogaWorld, this is the main reason we want to bring all teachers, practitioners, cultures and nations together.

We want to build and create together so that we uplift each other instead of competing. The true richness is found when everyone has discovered their own talent, their unique color, their voice.

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2 Comments

  1. Tad

    Yes and yes and yes! The richness is in diversity and that’s why I love HelloYogaWorld. We get to learn about diverse cultures and what yoga and mindfulness mean to each of our members in their context. I’ve never heard of a yoga asana competition before this. I’m sure I would come in close to last 🙂 And that’s fine with me! Thank you for your insight and beautiful writing.

    Reply
  2. Tina Rose

    In the seven months I have been a part of this project, HelloYogaWorld provided me a variety of new experiences, enhancing my current practice one lesson at a time. The connections are abundant when bringing together teachers and students from around the world.

    Reply

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