Yoga for Skeptics by Elizabeth Kadetsky

Yoga for Skeptics–Desperate for enlightenment, Westerners flock to India. But the modern yogis’ link to a mystical ancient lineage may be mere hocus pocus: “Most anyone who’s examined yoga thoughtfully enough to learn the Sanskrit word for triangle pose might agree that, in America, such dubious messengers of spiritual truth as Bikram Choudhury and Christy Turlington have introduced a rot of commercialization. The result is a monster: Tattooed 20-year-old gym instructors spew pseudo-philosophical platitudes to the sounds of hip-hop sampled over chanting Gregorian monks; stockbrokers meditate on their winnings while performing exercises that resemble jumping jacks; gullible fitness hounds extol the light-headed, rather numinous sensations experienced after an hour spent losing sweat in a 90-degree room.” Published in Killing the Buddha.

Kadesky wrote an interesting investigation about yoga, First There Is a Mountain that explores the modern history of yoga. After reading this shorter piece, I’m sufficiently intrigued to read the book. Also see this interview done by her publisher, Time-Warner Books. [Hachette Book Group bought out TW and the interview is no longer online.]

More importantly, the piece reminds me that I still have to maintain my objectivity as a writer while recording my experience in yoga. I don’t think I’m influenced by the marketing and the hype but by the benefits of my practice.