In any case, my entire self-righteous, Lululemon is a sell-out, corporate, non-eco company mindset is logically followed by what I believe yoga SHOULD be about. Which leads to a bit of spiritual confusion. From my understanding of the historical perspective, yoga was practiced by young men (mostly Hindu in culture and religion) in order to attain physical strength to lengthen their meditation practices. The goal was; through asana (physical postures) they would achieve a connection with the Divine. Therefore, the ultimate goal of Yoga is to bring us closer to the Divine.
Initially, I viewed yoga as a very broad, encompassing spirituality that wasn't attached to any specific organized religion. However, a quick read of something as Westernized as the "Yoga Journal" and you'll find quotes from the Bhagavad Gita; a Hindu scripture or explanations of various Hindu god/desses. Once I moved to Halifax it seemed like these quotes and readings were much more prominent than any other area I had lived and practiced yoga. Scriptures are quoted frequently, Krishna and Vishnu are mentioned often. As part of the yoga teacher training for Breathing Space studio the students are required to read the Bhagavad Gita, along with other spiritual interpretations. (Saraswati pic)
Krishna Das, a moving Kirtan singer is often played during yoga classes here in Halifax. I actually bought one of his cd's, his singing and chanting of sacred sanskrit prayers sound so beautiful. However, one of my favourite yoga instructors plays one of his songs during each and every savasana. Savasana has always been difficult for me, I am so anxious that it took two entire years of practice before I felt comfortable enough to close my eyes. Trying to meditate while listening to English words is difficult.... especially when the song is "Yes God Is Real" (Krishna Das's interpretation of a traditional Christian Gospel):