Zamir Dhanji: A Vision of Yoga for Our Time

Zamir Dhanji: A Vision of Yoga for Our TimeAuthors note: The idea for this article began with the intent of shedding light on the cultural appropriation of yoga and the need for its decolonization. However, I didn’t want to add my voice to an already well-worn criticism of how modern yoga has remained superficial by straying from its roots in its limited perception as form of exercise and its increasing commercialization. After deeper contemplation, I saw how this could be part of much larger mutual evolutionary process unfolding. Maybe what appeared as a stray was actually all part of plan….it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that happened.

Zamir Dhanji: A Vision of Yoga for Our TimeHearing the Call

The growth of yoga is actually a forerunner in what appears to be a global phenomenon involving the return and appreciation of indigenous ways of knowing. How we treat yoga now can set a tone for our ability to recognize the roots and fruits of indigenous wisdom traditions and incorporate them with skillful means in a modern context. Modern science has developed profound tools and models for understanding the personal, social and ecological problems facing us today, now we need to reach across the gap to the wisdom traditions of other peoples and respectfully understand how to deal with them. The world is a coal being compressed by population explosion, information overload and the rapid merging of cultures, and it is up to us to fashion it into a diamond. As we will see, yoga may have a more important role to play in this then we think.

Zamir Dhanji: A Vision of Yoga for Our TimeThis is because there are no guarantees in life, other than that you will inhale your first breath and that you will exhale your last. This is what yoga makes us aware of. We become conscious of the sacredness of what is being born, what is passing away and what lies beyond both, all as remembrance what a gift life truly is. Life is impermanent and yoga asks us to strive for what is real, it leads us to truth — if yoga is not doing this for you then question what you are doing with yoga. Without this recognition yoga won’t develop our wisdom mind, love in our hearts or peace within our beings — all gifts of true yoga practice. These words have become tropes because of how much they have been repeated in countless ads and Facebook posts for yoga, but when we really know what these mean in our lives we will value of what yoga is truly about.

As we face how and where our culture is dying, death-oriented or asking to be healed, we as yogis, or dare I say spiritual warriors, are responsible for learning how to heal it and recognizing what wants to be born. Yoga from India isn’t the only traditional source of knowledge that will be needed as we make this transition to a more awakened society — but it is the one that the whole world is embracing at this time. Part of this renaissance is about the building of another proverbial ark to carry the stories, the songs, the practices and the people of the indigenous and wisdom traditions, including the western ones, to the shores of our ancient future.

As cultural creatives this may be some of the most important work of our time, and yoga is offering us an opportunity to get it right.

Read complete at the source: A Vision of Yoga for Our Time (Unsegmented Version) — Medium



Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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