Reply to an email I received

Below is my reply to an email I received from “A” that commented on my “Goodbye Vancouver” letter. The email said:

“I think that was a very negative email. You should always leave on a good note and not cut down others. You are a business as well.”

Dear A,

Thank you for taking the time and sharing with me your thoughts.

As for your observation of my email as a negative one:

I guess negativity is a perception, like everything else. By now I received, unexpectedly, 97 replies to my goodbye email, and only two of them considered my email as negative. Yours is one of the two. Nonetheless, these two emails are not less important to my heart than the rest. Somehow the other people didn’t perceive my letter as negative. Both perceptions are valued.

If you are interested in my perception ;-) my letter was simply an observation, only from my personal experience of the yoga world, today, and not anyone else’s. So you can either agree with it, or not agree, or be indifferent to it…

I started practicing yoga 36 years ago and I can tell you the practice was very different. Yes, the world is changing, as everything else, but I can share with you that one of the things we did with yoga, as westerners, is that instead of changing ourselves through the spiritual practice, we changed the practice to suit our restless mind and lifestyle, as it makes things easier ;-) . In this way we do not need to go through the transformation that spiritual discipline requires, and we all know how challenging this transformation can be.

And yes you are right, I am a business my self. You can call any exchange a business. The question is: what is coming as first priority… the business or the teaching.

From my humble point of view the distinction is between giving our students what they want so they keep coming to us and keep our profits rolling, or giving students what they need, without the fear that we may lose them if they can’t handle the transformational power of the deeper spiritual teachings of Yoga. The “job” of a spiritual teacher is to do whatever needs to be done without the thought of being either popular or loved.

But as I said, this is only my humble observation and experience as a yogini, and I accept with love that it does not resonate with everyone.


2 Responses to “Reply to an email I received”

  1. Chris

    Thank you, Shakti. For many years I wanted to try yoga but for some reason wouldn’t allow myself it. I finally came to Prana and it was blessed relief.

    I appreciate your generosity. One may say you are a business as well, but as a person with very scant financial resources, through Prana’s repeated offers for discounts, passes, drop-in, etc people like me are never turned away because we lack money.

    I have learned so much. Thank you for what you are able to share.

  2. Leo

    Thank you Shakti,

    In class I have shared a similar view… As we bring in Yoga, it seems again we bend it to fit our lifestyle. Maybe because it’s challenging for us to accept the world doesn’t revolve around us… Perhaps allowing Yoga to be a practice of Spiritual Discipline picks at our Ego enough that we decide to put the Spirituality part aside and continue with the physical aspect supporting our modern fast-paced Mind driven world.

    It is a challenge to discipline ourselves. A very difficult one at times. We all eventually choose which way to go with Yoga and deal with the consequences of it.

    I am inspired by your passion for Yoga, Shakti. I look forward to seeing you again. :-)

    Thank you for being. :-)


Leave a Reply