Yep, that's Marylin Monroe in a headstand! I have recently come across this blog post via Yoga Dork and, apparently, Marylin was a pretty serious yoga practitioner. Her motivation? My guess is it might have had something to do with perfecting her physique. Who knows. But it did make me think about a view so prevalent in the yoga world: that the asana part of yoga is really nothing without spiritual study, exploration, devotion, whatever you want to call it. I hear it all the time in one way or another.
I am not outright disagreeing. However, there are many layers to the practice of yoga and who is anyone to dismiss any of them?
The reality is that practice of yoga has a lot to offer to anyone. Their mind, body, the whole lot. Every single living person would benefit from it, no exceptions, and you have to start somewhere. So why not with the physical practice of yoga. And so what if physical perfection is the motivation! Any path to yoga is a good path in my books.
If we then, somewhere down the line, pick up and start practicing other elements of yoga, then great. If not, then that's fine too. We're all unique and I find it pretty un-yogic to judge others for their personal yogic preferences.
Do you have a stand on this? I'd love to hear about it so please comment or email me privately, and have a beautiful day wherever you are :)
P.S. If you are wondering why Patanjali, the ancient sage and author of the Yoga Sutras, would bother to define the perfection of the body, the answer lies in the third chapter of the Sutras that deals with the Mystic Powers. Patanjali defines
the perfection of the body as one of the accomplishments achieved by yogis who master the mind and the elements. But this is a whole other topic.
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