Archive for the ‘yoga’ Tag

The Yoga of Money

The blogosphere is buzzing this morning about the New York Times article on John Friend, founder of Anusara yoga. At least, the yoga-related blogosphere is. So, I feel compelled to put in my two cents. Although this is not a yoga blog. per-se, most of my readers know that I am a committed student of Anusara yoga, and a devotee of John Friend’s teachings. And the most controversial part of the article is related to money, so I think it’s appropriate.

I must admit, on first reading the article, I was hesitant to send it to all my friends and family, and say, “This is my gig!” First because the article makes Anusara seem a bit evangelical. And I can’t say that it’s not. I have, on more than one occasion, explained my feelings about Anusara as, “probably similar to how a born-again Christian feels upon finding Jesus.”  But, Yoga is not a religion, Anusara is not a cult, and John Friend is not a guru. While most yoga practitioners are spiritual seekers, to one degree or another, the bond that holds the Anusara kula (Sanskrit for community) together is a desire for life to be healthy and joyful. Call it what you will, but that is a philosophy I can happily follow!

Another contentious subject in the article is the modernization and corporatization of yoga. The fact that John Friend is making money doing what he loves and helping others seems to be a negative to some. Huh? Wouldn’t we all like to be making money doing something we love? The “poverty is noble” idea is not exclusive to yogis, but it is pervasive and if I may be frank, it is just plain dumb. It is what keeps so many from true prosperity. How many people do we know that talk negatively about money, and then wonder why they don’t have any? Money gives us security, comfort, and the ability to enjoy life and pursue our dreams. Think about it this way….if John Friend had little or no money, he would not be able to travel the world and teach. Nobody would practice Anusara yoga, because no one would have heard of it.

Being a spiritual seeker and a financial success are not mutually exclusive. Money gives us the means to make our dreams reality.  John Friend is making money, enjoying life and doing good. Let us all aspire to that.

If you haven’t already, please click on the link to read the full New York Times article.