Sometimes I feel like a elderly person, a kind of maternal figure who’s produced many yoga progeny over the years. In one sense it’s kind of cool. I look out and see all these people who got interested in yoga through contact with me, and even stayed with it; some of them were even moved enough by the great discipline of yoga to teach in their own right and have their own yoga children.
In another sense, I do feel old when I’m around the younger generation. They are so energetic! They want to do hot and sweaty yoga to trance music. To their credit, these youngsters are still inspired by yoga and they treat me deferentially, even if my style of yoga isn’t necessarily theirs.
I’ve been a good predictor of trends in yoga from having been around for so long.
I knew yoga would one day come into its own – that there would be a tsunami of popularity and that would make yoga lucrative in some quarters. This was certainly not the case when I started out, and it’s still difficult to make a living now because yoga teaching as a business is so competitive.
I predicted a wave of interest in Yoga Therapy which hit a few years ago and is still riding a crest.
The next thing that’s coming is the thing that has been there all along – what underpins yoga – the philosophy and the practice of it which is meditation.
Funny, isn’t it. What goes around, comes around. And, you travel all around the world to find your way home and recognise it for the first time, as the poet says.
Krtartham prati nastamapyanastam tadanyasadharanatvat
The existence of all objects of perception and their appearance is independent of the needs of the individual perceiver. They exist without individual reference, to cater for the different needs of different individuals.*
*Patanjali’s Yogsutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.