Desire and Aversion

One of the great truths of yoga is that there is always oppositional force; a sun and a moon, a masculine and feminine, a negative and positive, a pose and counterpose.

At YogaCity NYC we believe in not only celebrating the varied practices on our home-town turf, but also reminding our readers to beware of the temptations that pull you off the path.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras suggests that both desire (sukha) and aversion (duhkha) are patterns in our mind and we are hastened to remove their grasp from our nature.
New York City holds every possible seduction….hype, money, beauty, fame…after all, we are home to the international banking, publishing and fashion industries. We attach ourselves to these enticements by seeking to become the richest, the most famous and the most attractive we can.
As citizens, we also have important things we avoid doing anything about like homelessness, crime and a failing public education system. The list is way too long. Many of us have an aversion to the panhandler on the street or the homeless man splayed out on the subway. We avoid a “D” or “C” rated school by moving neighborhoods or putting our kids in private institutions.  We cross the street or look down at our shoes when confronted by a group of teenagers who look different from ourselves heading our way.
Lately, we’ve seen and read a lot about attraction in the yoga world, the biggest classes by the most popular teachers who promote the most expensive clothing and holistic services.  They play the coolest music at the niftiest venues. We all want to take their classes and become happier and more enlightened.
Coincidentally, we’ve been hearing about the darker things, too.  News items we want to play down or push aside as individual actions or mistaken directions like the focus on asana related injuries, million dollar lawsuits regarding patents on yoga pants, the downfall of John Friend, the failure of Yoga Alliance to create suitable guidelines for adequate teacher trainings and the horrible death of Ian Thorson at Geshe Michael Roche’s Diamond Mountain.
As long time publishers, journalists and editors we are particularly struck by the magnitude of both the sukha and duhkha going on in the local and national yoga community. We see one of our roles as helping to lift the veil of ignorance that these kleshas, or impediments to yoga, create.
–Brette Popper
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