Many people, including yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, would think and believe that yoga philosophy or the teachings of yoga and the yoga practice is about ‘positive empowerment’.
There’s nothing wrong or bad with ‘positive empowerment’ ideologies, it helps many people to ‘positively’ deal with the perception of certain worldly life experiences that are not necessarily the way that the mind would like it to be, that are quite challenging, exhausting, unpleasant, painful or harsh, by being ‘positive’, ‘optimistic’, ‘hopeful’, ‘confident’, ‘worthy’, ‘strong’, and etc, just that it is not what yoga and yoga practice is about.
Worldly passionate egoistic minds that are identifying with and attached onto the qualities of names and forms of family and cultural background, worldly thinking and belief, intelligence, knowledge, creativity, higher technologies, higher standard of living, enjoyment of the senses, sense of achievement and meaningfulness, sense of belonging, social community interaction and activities, relationships, friendships, fun elements, good condition of the body and the living environment, and etc, wouldn’t like or agree with the practice of yoga of renouncing worldly ideas/thinking/belief/habits and thinning-out/annihilation of the mind.
Only those who have realized the fleeting impermanence of all the names and forms in this worldly life existence, who have intense yearning for salvation or liberation from suffering, would perceive and understand worldly life existence differently from the passionate minds.
For the passionate minds, the worldly life existence is what they are and all they are, and they spend all the effort, energy, life span and sense of meaningfulness into creating and protecting what they think is ‘I’ and ‘mine’ – my life, my body, my mind, my name, my gender, my sexual orientation, my appearance, my action, my fruit of action, my health, my feelings, my education, my career, my wealth, my achievements, my results, my qualifications, my certifications, my accumulated experiences, my property, my things, my knowledge, my language, my personality, my professionalism, my talent, my skill, my ability, my strength, my love, my kindness, my goodness, my family, my ancestor, my birth place, my nationality, my race, my community, my tribe, my people, my country, my world, my planet earth, my universe, my culture, my religion, my thinking, my belief, my rights, my freedom, my happiness, my relationships, my friends, my relatives, my partner, my children, my grandchildren, my pets, my future, my children’s future, my interest, my hobbies, my collections, my ideas, my creativity, my ambitions, my generosity, my reputation, my confidence, my self-esteem, my pride, my contribution, my sacrifice, my effort, my time, my space, my yoga, my yoga mat, my yoga accessories, my yoga brand, my favorite yoga practice/yoga poses, my yoga school, my yoga students, my yoga teacher, my Guru, my disciples, my followers, my fans, my God, my things to do/enjoy before dying, and so on.
For the dispassionate minds, the worldly life existence is simply a precious momentary platform and priceless opportunity for them to work diligently to annihilate the mind/ignorance/egoism – the root of countless births and deaths (restlessness), and the consequence of that – suffering. The worldly passionate minds would ignorantly think that this is selfishness, that this doesn’t contribute anything to the world like all the other intelligent educated kind people who actively trying to do so many actions in order to change the world to be a better place or to be the way that they think it should be, but they don’t realize this serious stuff of yoga practice is indeed the greatest form of contribution towards humanity that anyone can give – to be free from ignorance/egoism/impurities and suffering, to be in peace and manifesting peace into the environment/the society/the world, unconditionally.
If someone really interested in practicing yoga or realizing yoga, must understand the difference between yoga (the annihilation of the ego/egoism and restraining/thinning-out the function/modification of the mind) and worldly ‘positive empowerment’ ideologies (the empowerment of the ego/egoism and stimulating/augmenting the function/modification of the mind).
The one who needs to be empowered and is being empowered by ‘positive empowerment’ ideologies is the ego. All these worldly ‘positive empowerment’ ideologies are stimulating/feeding/fueling/empowering/strengthening the thinking mind/egoism. While yoga practice is mainly to breakdown/annihilate the ego/egoism and stop stimulating/stop feeding/thinning out/annihilating the thinking mind (including the mind with all positive and good qualities.)
The one who truly understands yoga and practices yoga, doesn’t need to be empowered, encouraged, motivated, inspired, acknowledged, supported or accompanied by anything and anyone, but realizing the truth and lives in the truth, and not running away from or denying the undesirable/disagreeable reality perceived by the mind that it doesn’t like and doesn’t want, or trying to change the undesirable/disagreeable reality to be the way that the mind would like or want it to be.
Yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, who think and believe all beings/people, including themselves, need to be empowered, encouraged, motivated, inspired, acknowledged, supported, or accompanied by other(s), of family/community/teachers/friend circle/social network to live life, to look after themselves and/or others under their care, to be doing something beneficial to themselves and/or others, to be performing their duties and responsibilities towards themselves and/or others, and to perform the yoga and meditation practice to attain salvation, otherwise, they would be discouraged, demotivated or lack of inspiration to perform all these actions, then they aren’t really practicing yoga, even though they might think and believe that they have been practicing yoga for a long time or they are highly experienced in the yoga practice. Though it’s everyone’s freedom of how they understand and practice yoga.
This doesn’t mean that the world is a loveless place if all practice yoga or everyone doesn’t (need to) connect with other(s), to be giving or receiving love from one another, but in fact, it’s the contrary, the world will be full of ‘love’, as everyone is love itself and manifesting love unlimitedly, unconditionally, intentionlessly or selflessly. There’s needless to connect with other(s) or depend on receiving love from other(s) to feel love or loved by other(s). There’s no separateness, loneliness or meaninglessness.
It’s only those who haven’t realized the truth of ‘love’, will perceive separateness, loneliness and meaninglessness, and believe that all beings need to be giving and receiving love from one another, and have the need to connect with other(s), to be receiving love from other(s), to feel love and meaningfulness. That is not freedom, nor end of suffering. As there will always be many inhuman selfishness, cruelty, greed, violence or corruption in the world as most minds are not free from ignorance and egoism, and are functioning under the impulse for survival and gratification of desires. Even those who identifying themselves as ‘good’ beings/people who think they do many ‘good’ actions in this world would also want to discriminate/punish/hurt other(s) out of pride, self-protection, survival instinct, anger, hatred, hurt, fear, worry, and etc.
Love or peace is always there, as it is, never increase nor decrease, unaffected by the impermanent changes of good and bad qualities of names and forms. Those who realized this, are free from clinging onto or needing or craving for love from someone or somewhere. It’s only those under the influence of ignorance and egoism don’t realize this, and hence are not free, but finding momentary satisfaction and comforts in the qualities of names and forms that the mind likes and desires.
Dispassion, renounce worldly ideas, objects, activities, ties and relationships, non-attachment, non-identification, awareness, self-control, self-discipline, the correct understanding of the basic and yet essential teachings of yoga, and the four essential qualities of a Sadhaka – Viveka, Vairagya, Shatsampat and Mumukshutva, are the very basic qualities of a yoga practitioner or person who wants to practice yoga and realize yoga.
The real ‘Guru’ or teacher is there to guide the students to destroy/eliminate the ego/egoism and to thin-out the mind. Destroying/eliminating the ego/egoism and thinning-out the mind is the only objective/goal of all the yoga practice and it’s true compassion and the greatest contribution to humanity and the world. All other benefits deriving from performing the yoga practice are just some momentary side-effects. These side-effects cannot bring salvation or liberation. Yoga practitioners aren’t interested in all these momentary side-effects at all, but allowing them to be there as they are.
Everyone is free to practice yoga, or not. It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, their body and mind.