I found a link to this article from Slate.com on Fair Maiden‘s blog. It does an excellent job of summing up the frustration I feel about the rampant narcissism among Western yoga practitioners. Recommended reading!
Sometimes I feel embarrassed telling people I do yoga, because I don’t want to be at all associated with the ignorant, self-centered New Agey types who just use yoga to further their inflated self-image and to feel like they’re off the hook when it comes to doing something to actually help the world. And good god, I don’t ever want to become one of those people. The moment I start to think that I’m improving the world around me by just getting out of bed and doing yoga, just euthanize me, please.
On the other hand, I know plenty of yogis who are not at all of that narcissistic mindset and actually do real work towards social justice and a better world, so it’s not the yoga that’s encouraging all the self-centeredness. Rather, as I’ve heard once before, yoga is like a garden which will grow whatever is planted in it.