Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois on Power Yoga

"I was disappointed to find that so many novice students have taken Ashtanga yoga and have turned it into a circus for their own fame and profit (Power Yoga, Jan/Feb 1995). The title "Power Yoga" itself degrades the depth, purpose and method of the yoga system that I received from my guru, Sri. T. Krishnamacharya. Power is the property of God. It is not something to be collected for one's ego. Partial yoga methods out of line with their internal purpose can build up the "six enemies" (desire, anger, greed, illusion, infatuation and envy) around the heart. The full ashtanga system practiced with devotion leads to freedom within one's heart. The Yoga Sutra II.28 confirms this "Yogaanganusthanat asuddiksaye jnanadiptih avivekakhyateh", which means "practicing all the aspects of yoga destroys the impurities so that the light of knowledge and discrimination shines". It is unfortunate that students who have not yet matured in their own practice have changed the method and have cut out the essence of an ancient lineage to accommodate their own limitations.

The Ashtanga yoga system should never be confused with "power yoga" or any whimsical creation which goes against the tradition of the many types of yoga shastras (scriptures). It would be  a shame to lose the precious jewel of libiration in the mud of ignorant body building.

K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, Mysore, South India

A link from here brought me here to this quote. Not sure if there's a way to fact check its accuracy (tons of spelling errors from the original website), but, as a power yoga teacher, its points are incredibly interesting. Makes me stop and check before plowing on ahead.

Some of my students might show up for the wrong reasons. I see my fair share of eating issues/disorders. Can yoga save them? I have no idea. Should I play therapist? Definitely not. But maybe it can help them, and I won't pretend I know enough to distinguish the difference. "Power" yoga (Bikram, to be precise) got me hooked. Eventually I deepened my practice way beyond the asana. I don't want to assume that just because I might have started (and sometimes still do practice) for EGO that it can't lead to brilliance.

Popular Posts