Yoga spiritual practice and money: Is it wrong to use the subtle methods and powers of Yoga as a money-making technique?
We don’t have to look far to find a seminar about making money with Yoga. If we’re calling it a fitness program, physical therapy or medical treatment, isn’t that already over the top? Well, it has now also become common to promote seminars and books as being money-making techniques, especially here in the Western Hemisphere.
Some Yoga promoters oftentimes don’t openly proclaim their training and instructionsas a means for becoming rich. Instead, they commonly use the terms like prosperity, success, abundance, or affluence. They insinuate that with their guidance the student or practitioner will attract those attributes to themselves.
Using Yoga spiritual practice to generate wealth: Right or wrong?
This isn’t about referring to teachers that charge money for training students and teaching classes. That is an entirely different matter. This is talking about intentionally using the profound methods and powers of Yoga to generate wealth or accumulate riches.
The fruits of Yoga spiritual practice come naturally to sincere students as a byproduct of their practice. However, conducting seminars on channeling genuine convictions and Yoga spiritual practices into producing financial wealth is contrary to the ultimate goals of true Yoga practice.
A potent quote from Joseph Goebbels, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
So be careful what you choose to believe!
It doesn’t take a great amount of reflection to see that Goebbels’ statement reeks of attachment, hedonism, and greed. Yoga would have us see each of these qualities as being obstacles to spiritual practice, rather than goals worthy of attainment.
There is a commonly accepted assertion that teachers must meet students where they are. Proper instruction is the epitome of that process. On the other hand, greedy teachers provide well-packaged and marketed seminars to greedy students. They promote the use of “Yoga” as a vehicle to make money. By doing this, the seekers are misled. They receive a form of pseudo-validation for their inner (or subconscious) longings for external pleasure.
This is not to suggest that Yoga should have absolutely nothing to do with acceptable money-making propositions or that aspiring yogis should live in abject poverty. It is simply illustrating the result of confusing goals and methods.
Yoga: not a path to material wealth
Yoga is not a moneymaking technique, nor was it ever meant to be. Any use of it for such a purpose is a corruption of true practice and devolution of authentic practice. Being overly concerned about financial gains will prevent its spiritual aspects from taking root.
Enthusiastic students and practitioners are starting to question the intention of modern instructors and innovators. They are beginning to wonder whether their hard work and dedication is motivated by the love of yoga or by a love of money.
True yogis historically sought peace through acts of selfless service and by detaching themselves from worldly gains. If money didn’t buy awareness and understanding then, why should we struggle for it today?
“Yoga has become the health and fitness system of choice. This is odd because it is the mind – not the body – that is the main target of all genuine Yoga practices …. To regard Yoga primarily as a set of practices for increasing strength and flexibility while calming the nervous system is to mistake the husk for the kernel.”
Next: The consequences of commingling fitness programs and Yoga.