Dear Yoga Teacher,
I’ve got something I need to say to you and I’m going to sound like a party pooper.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t remember reading anywhere in the Bhagavad Gita that a fine glass of Merlot goes down well after a challenging Vinyasa class and I don’t think Patanjali was ever found to be swigging on a beer during practice!
So is it ok to offer a glass of wine to students after practice as a reward for the hard work they’ve done? At least the promise of wine gets people through the door, maybe they’ll just ditch the wine once they’ve sampled the yoga? And we need to practice balance in our lives, yoga and then wine, it’s so harmless. Isn’t it?
Or how about Beer Yoga, when you actively practice at the same time as drinking alcohol, seems like a good way to get more men to practice perhaps? Isn’t it just a bit of fun?
I’m in recovery for alcohol addiction, something I finally admitted to myself on 28th December 2016. 6 months previously I wrote this post for MindBodyGreen – A Yogis Guide to Enjoying Alcohol. I wrote this article desperately trying to justify my addiction. I wanted to be able to teach yoga and still be allowed to have a glass or two of wine, be “good fun” and accepted by everyone. However, deep down I always felt guilty if I thought one of my students knew I’d had an alcoholic drink.
Please think about this for a moment – does yoga need to be sold via other means or does it sell itself? Doesn’t linking it to something that actively dulls our sense of oneness and consciousness negate all the good that yoga is there to do?
I’m asking you as an influencer to take responsibility towards your students to pass on the yogic teachings in their purest form. Aren’t we abusing our positions if we promote alcohol alongside yoga? Perhaps our students will think, “Look, she’s a yoga teacher and she’s telling me it’s ok to drink alcohol, so it’s ok to drink.” I know that I do not want to be held responsible for someone else’s continued addiction.
I wonder how many addicts are being scared away from yoga classes and from their own means of survival because of “Come and have a glass of wine after class” all about balance advertising or just for fun “Beer Yoga Classes”? How many lives are we not serving because of our alcohol obsessions?
Therefore it is with love and respect that I ask you to please take the alcohol out of your advertising. Think twice before you post that picture of you with a glass of wine on your social media yoga account. Let’s keep yoga pure #yogasober.
Photo Credit: Che Dyer.