Deconstructing Consumer Yoga

I participated in a conversation on my Facebook profile page between May 16-19, 2015, with the purpose to examine closely our own narratives about yoga, spirituality, mysticism, self-knowledge.  The goal is to use that “deconstruction” as an exercise in liberating our consciousness, by identifying our own innate structures and conditioning to understand ourselves and the world around us with much greater clarity. Let this be a contribution towards deconstructing consumer yoga.

Deconstruction is a subversive activity, because it undermines an existing order, even if it does not support the superiority of one side of an issue.  The subversion goes beneath the surface of a text using surface markers, which I refer to as artefacts, as guides for excavation.  In contrast with Indian civilisation, most Western civilisation for at least 1200 years, considers the subversive as a negative, and today is even falsely identified with political activism..

My interest is not the specific “deconstruction” of scholars like Jacques Derrida, who is most known for his coining and use of the word, but in a more general sense that provides a new vocabulary for our conversation on Consciousness, Speech, and Indian Culture.  As Derrida would also say, I don’t intend deconstruction as a methodology, but as an activity of “reading the text.”

The goal of the deconstruction is not destructive nor negative but quite the opposite, the liberation of consciousness which can only take place in an environment where ignorance is identified as such, and when it is, ignorance can no longer exist.  I am not satisfied with the replacement of one belief system or ideology with another, as the common result is to further hide limiting ignorance from our awareness, embedding it in our framing of the world.

I prefer the term “liberating” to “higher” when referring to consciousness, because 1) consciousness doesn’t change, it’s not really higher or lower, it is our awareness that changes, and so 2) the deconstruction speaks for “process” which in this case is liberating, a process of removing distorting lenses revealing a less obscured identity with consciousness itself.

The conversation in 13 parts:

Deconstructing Consumer Yoga


Weaponizing Yoga I

“When knowledge is weaponized, it is made opaque and useless, and the human race suffers. Modern Consumer Yoga is responsible for Weaponizing Yoga.” *

“When one attacks or destroys the knowledge of something, this may be called “epistemic violence.” — Baba Rampuri

defining yoga

Towards Defining Yoga II

Defining yoga depends entirely on the context in which the word “yoga” is used. Modern western discourse (outside some pockets of the academy) is mostly not about thinking at all-its about control and commodification- modern “yoga” […]

Practice & Truth in Yoga III

“But the fact of the matter is the horse is out the barn. Call it junk, industrial or corporate yoga—these Tupperware parades of cultural coercion have been clawing at the landscape since the early 1980s like […]


Fetishizing Yoga IV

I find very few people in the New Age, Yoga, and Spiritual movements questioning the very foundations of their ideologies and beliefs, and although enchanted by Indian culture, are no different in their structure of thinking about these things, meaning, using the same discourse as the people who give us the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to come to their New Age conclusions.


Speech and Yoga V

What is truly spectacular and indispensable about Sanskrit, IF EVEN for no other reason, is because the language comes with a highly detailed manual, including the code itself, supported by 2500 years of commentary. Compared to […]

Consumer Yoga

Western Industrial Modern Postural Yoga VI

… how something is propagated, marketed. In the West what distinguishes Yoga from another system of physical culture is its branding, packaging and marketing as the “exotic” “mystical east” with its “until now” secret techniques, cures, […]

Ram and Guru Vashith

Is Western Yoga Indian VII

“I like your intrigue in China. You may want to delve into the siddhas of Tamil Nadu for your answer. Bhoghanathar in particular whose guru Kalingi Natha lived in China got Bhoga(natha) over to China to […]

Yoga Education

Yoga Education VIII

It would behoove the USA and indeed the entire world if they would focus on giving the kids a better education as the USA is on the bottom of the rankings in the modern world, rather than having Wall Street trying to figure out how to sneak branded yoga into public schools.


Patanjali, Cognition and Yoga IX

“There is certainly an academic argument regarding the theory of two Patanjalis, but I have never come across this argument in my oral tradition and related traditions in my 45 years of interest. Not once. I […]


Science and Yoga X

“Let’s not fall for the mythology that science is “supposed to” equal truth or is even supposed to seek Truth, any more than history is an account of what actually happened. These are sophisticated games with […]


Culture and Yoga XI

“I had to understand, when engaging the “Other” (whether culture, religion, gender, species) what assumptions and presumptions I bring into the engagement which ultimately prevents assimilation into (or connection with) the “Other.” Curiously I discovered that […]

Adi Sankara

Subject & Object & Yoga XII

“Even in the sentences we write and speak there is a grammatical subject and object. The issue is what is the relationship between the two. Shiva is the Cosmic subject and Shakti is the Cosmic object. […]


Flash of Knowledge and Yoga XIII

The great value of this discussion lies in the questions it raises rather than the answers it provides. And certainly different questions for different people. That way we can all be challenged to take the responsibility […]