Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.
The more I study yogic philosophy, the more I am convinced that yoga is a radical-ninja-outlaw kind of practice. Countercultural, subversive, crazy-badass-wild. You're laughing, but that's 'cause you're thinking of shallow blond chicks in expensive workout pants and glossy ponytails who are afraid to sweat. That's not what the hell I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the radical teaching to let go of all attachments. To live deeply in the present moment. To reject the cultural tendencies toward neuroticism and narcissism. To be content with what you already have. To offer love and compassion to those who fear or hurt you. To choose nonviolence in diet, interpersonal relationships, and lifestyle. And to see divinity as manifest equally in every living creature.
Subversive! Ninja! Radical! Outlaw! Wild!
SO when my fervent and fierce friend Nina shared this recent NYT article with me, I was oh-so-pleased to find that someone out there's making the connections between political revolution and a yogic lifestyle, even if his intentions might be a little ego-saturated and profit-motivated. Read up on my man Swami Ramdev, who's trying to shake things up in an Indian political atmosphere steeped in British colonialism and caste discrimination:
"What the people need is honest, brave and responsible leadership,” [Ramdev] said in an interview at the sprawling campus of his rapidly expanding yoga, natural foods and medicine empire in northern India. The country’s political system is riddled with corruption and riven by the deep divisions of religion and caste, he said. Tapping into the ancient Indian wisdom that gave birth to yoga, and the holy texts like the Vedas and Upanishads, is the only way to excise those cancers, he contended.Badass. Of course there are detractors, many of whom make valid criticisms. But this is something, someone, swimming against the currents, stirring up the waters, and sometimes, that little ripple's all we need to start a revolution...
“We must have a total revolution,” he said.
Indian Who Built Yoga Empire Works on Politics (NYT)