‘Moet and Meditation’? ‘Beer Yoga’? – Where is Patanjali’s Yoga Today?

Recently I was at dinner with my husband and a friend at a restaurant that had a yoga studio attached to it. Part way through our dinner there was an influx of young women and I later noticed they were all drinking a bottle of Moet champagne. This seemed so unusual that I asked the waitress what was happening. Her answer seemed unbelievable to me:

“They are here for a ‘Moet and Meditation’ class.”

Yes, you heard that correctly! This completely flabbergasted me, as putting the two together seemed like anathema to me – for I knew (from my study of Raja Yoga) that meditation is used to re-connect you to yourself, and alcohol takes you away from yourself. Further, the class involved drinking champagne before the meditation!

Then, recently I watched a video by Business Inside UK titled ‘People in London are doing yoga while drinking ice cold beer.’ I watched horrified as the video showed people drinking beer in a pub at the same time as practising yoga. The yoga teacher justified it thus:

“It (beer) adds a little bit more relaxation because people tend to be tense when they come… The goal is to make people stress-free, relaxed and happy, and if this means we have to incorporate beer I think that’s perfectly fine and I think that’s encouraged.” (1)

The video ended as follows:

“They say it complements the joy of drinking beer and the mindfulness of yoga.” (1)

Whoa… did this shock me! 

In addition to this there is now ‘hot yoga’ (yoga practised in a very hot room), ‘naked yoga’ (self-explanatory), and ‘fat yoga’ … the list of so-called ‘yoga’ goes on. Add to this the evidence in recent years of yoga ‘gurus’ being accused of having sex with their underage followers, raping young girls, or embezzling their employees’ pension funds, and you start to get a very disturbing picture of the present yoga consciousness.

I practised yoga for 25 years and taught it for 15 years. Although I still teach ‘stretch, strengthen and stillness’ classes, I stopped teaching yoga about five years ago when I could feel in my heart that the yoga I was teaching was no longer true, and in fact was far from what I now understand true yoga to be. I have found that I no longer have the sense of superiority I felt because I ‘practised yoga’ – a superiority that I notice many yoga teachers and practitioners seem to have. Also, since letting go of this consciousness and changing what and how I teach, I have noticed that I am stronger and more flexible than I was before!

The decision to discontinue teaching and practising yoga the way I had been for many years has been very much confirmed for me by the path modern yoga appears to now be going down.

It seems to me that we are now very far away from the source of true yoga that the very wise Indian sage Patanjali taught us in his Yoga Sutras somewhere between 200 BC and 400 AD.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (‘threads’) consist of 196 very short aphorisms (statements), which bring awareness and deeper understanding to how we are living so that we can make changes to support us, thus:

“providing the wherewithal for us to reconnect to our Divine nature and true state of being… The goal of the Yoga-sutras is no less than entire transformation of ourselves, to reconnect to our true Divine essence.” (2)

To deepen our understanding of ourselves and the universe, Patanjali gave us the practical path of yoga, which was given to support human beings to stop being dominated by the mind and to stop taking everything personally, so we could re-connect to our Divinity, to who we truly are, which is so much more than the human body.

So how does drinking alcohol whilst practising yoga support us to re-connect when most people who drink alcohol know that when they drink alcohol they turn into someone else entirely, i.e. they dis-connect even further from themselves?

It appears to me that practising yoga whilst holding a bottle of beer, or drinking champagne before a yoga meditation class, is a complete bastardisation of true Yoga… and that those who teach it are being very irresponsible. 

It seems that today we – including, and perhaps especially, some yoga teachers – have moved very far away from the classical Raja (kingly) Yoga of Patanjali. Perhaps we could ask ourselves, why?

Those who have studied yoga in its true essence know that it is a way of living that is simply about union – union with our self and with God: in other words, union with our Soul. Many have experienced the joy of truly connecting to their Soul and to God, and from there have felt the Oneness that we are all from. Is this not what, deep down, we all truly want? To live a life full of purpose, to develop the ‘kingly body’ that Patanjali spoke of, so we can let go of our hurts and emotions and re-connect to each other and to the simplicity life can be, and – most important of all – to be the love that we naturally are.

This divine connection with our Soul is yoga in its true, and ageless, essence. Alcohol has no place in that connection.

By Anne Scott, Auckland

References:

  1. Business Insider. (2017). People in London are doing yoga while drinking ice cold beer – this is how it works. [online] Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/beer-yoga-london-vinyasa-flow-yoga-drinking-beer-funzing-uk-pub-drinking-alcohol-2017-6/?r=AU&IR=T [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017]. 
  1. Unimed Living. (2017). Patanjali: The great Indian sage and teacher of the Ageless Wisdom | Unimed Living. [online] Available at: http://www.unimedliving.com/ageless-wisdom/the-lineage/patanjali-the-great-indian-sage-and-teacher-of-the-ageless-wisdom.html [Accessed 20 Nov. 2017].

Further Reading:
Esoteric yoga: union with me and God – at last
Esoteric Yoga – yoga for our world today
Feeling the Divinity of God through Esoteric Yoga

455 thoughts on “‘Moet and Meditation’? ‘Beer Yoga’? – Where is Patanjali’s Yoga Today?

  1. The alcohol numbs the body and this allows the practice of exercises that the body would find unpleasant or unsuitable at that moment. If the movements were supportive of the body then why would the body need to be numbed by the alcohol and sugar?

  2. Given on the New Year’s eve twitter feed in UK the ambulance services are asking for consideration and to try not to use their already over busy services, how is it that we have ‘beer yoga’ or alcohol with yoga for instance when surely one of our focuses needs to be on supporting health and wellbeing? Does Beer Yoga for instance advocate ‘have your cake and eat it?’ – What if ‘beer and yoga’ and similar classes are condoning alcohol as part of a healthy life style? If you read research studies on the cancer charity websites, there is now recognition of the damage caused by alcohol and that there are links between alcohol and cancer – as that is so, where does beer yoga stand?

  3. To answer the question, “Where is Patanjali’s yoga now?” I would say that it is very much alive in Esoteric Yoga. His teachings which focussed on developing awareness and livingness to re-connect with the divine are the central foundation to Esoteric Yoga. There are no bells and whistles, just you, your body and your awareness, which leads to a life rich beyond imagining (and anything beer, Moet, chocolate etc. could never provide!)

    1. Yes,all is not lost. Esoteric yoga has brought me an appreciation of my body that no beer or whatever can bring. I’m writing this knowing there is a depth I am only skimming the surface of, whereby the wonders of the universe lie through the vehicle that is my body.

    2. Great question. Where is the Truth but in us. In our body and the way to let it out is to consistently express it no matter what goes on in the world. Truth is nothing if it is not lived and lived continuously. There is no time to indulge in hurts.

  4. Yoga and alcohol is the ultimate in illusion and disconnection from self. A reflection of how we are living today -we want it “all” but the drift is further away from truth.

  5. Something is truly amiss if ‘medication’ is required to meditate. However it is a very clear indication how far humanity is moving away from the essence of truth.

    1. Well said Sandra – meditation is in essence a re-connection to our inner essence, our core being, any type of sedation or ‘medication’ would prohibit that connection and take us further away from our true selves.

      1. There is such a strong call for the reflection of truth by humanity as the degree of denial seems to be flourishing, as you say Eva taking many further away from their essence, the actual connection they are searching for.

  6. The never ending inventions show us that humanity need to find more and more ways to numb themselves as the awareness that is on offer today is calling us constantly to be more responsible. Everybody can feel this so much instantly, who ever resists that have to find ways to escape this. Because the mind gets bored and get used to things quite easily, so these extremes has to be invented.

  7. I have just completed a 6 day esoteric yoga program and it felt incredible to connect so deeply to the stillness within, I have tried other yogas but none have been so fundamentally life changing as esoteric yoga.

  8. I watched some footage of beer yoga and thought it must have been a joke – I thought it can’t be real? But it seems it is. It seems yoga has become such a thing that you can do to tick the “I’m taking care of my body” box or the “I’m into enlightenment” that you can make it as trendy as you like and it’s still acceptable. My concern is the discernment of humanity.

    1. Yes this is totally concerning Nikki. People have found a way to bring comfort and abuse into an otherwise totally sacred modality. What does this say about us as a human race, that we would choose to bastardise something so sacred and not blink an eye.

  9. Having practiced esoteric yoga it is so obvious and clear that anything you do which affects your natural state of being works contrary to the true purpose of yoga and not with it.

    1. The mind loves excitement- esoteric yoga has no ounce of excitement, as the soul does not have any kind of drive or needs any enlightenment as it is the light already. We just need to reconnect to it, that can seem kind of “boring”, because it is simple and very quiet, compared to the other, I call them, excercises.

  10. Words have become cheap, as you have raised here with the case of yoga. It’s always wise to discern whether support is being truly sought to heal, or whether one wants to simply relieve themselves from the tensions and stress of life. Equally, it is for oneself to discern what is truly supportive for one’s body and soul, and what is not.

  11. Avoidance of responsibility is age old, for example bastardising something that is true to make it suit our irresponsible way of living rather than actually examine and change the way we are living to be more supportive.

  12. It is extraordinary to see how easily we can be nudged off track if we don’t make it first about energy and use that as our marker.

  13. In the past I was a dedicated yoga student and I went along to a 3 week yoga retreat in India one year, each morning we did at least an hour of meditation, one woman was having trouble relaxing during the mediation and the well respected yoga teacher advised her to have a joint before the class to help her to relax. I was astounded by his advice, and from this moment on I began to question yoga and the teachers that where present. From here on I started to see through the illusion of yoga and the consciousness that I was trapped in and how no one was really connected to their heart or practicing true yoga, much the same as your experience Anne, thank you for exposing these behaviours that are in truth harming us and keeping us further away from love and truth.

  14. When I took my first yoga class, I could feel that there was something there, beyond just stretching and exercise, I eventually went and lived at a yoga center for a while and started doing more ‘advanced’ yoga classes. Eventually I realized that what I needed was not more rigorous yoga but gentle yoga. But everyone wanted to advance there practice by doing more strenuous yoga. I realized that the yoga had been ‘america-ized’ . Doing more was what it was all about.
    I realized that if people truly listened to there body, they would do very gentle yoga.
    I feel most of the yoga being done in the world has nothing to do with the true meaning of yoga.

  15. Esoteric Yoga as taught by Serge Benhayon is the most amazing, simple and powerful way for truly bringing Union. The spaciousness I feel in my body after an esoteric yoga session stays with me as I move in the day… beautiful.

    1. The beauty of Esoteric Yoga is that, it is connecting us back to the stillness within of physical body, through the stillness we are able to connect to the divine-ness we are from.

  16. I have heard of these sort of events, what is going on…there are also countless yoga teachers and health practitioners etc selling people the dream of ‘well-being’ but are self-abusing with unhealthy patterns of behaviour and emotions that do not support anyone, let alone themselves. It is really up to us to really make a point of discerning the truth or not truth of what someone is saying heals us.

  17. I saw a shop the other day that combined yoga and tattooing. Initially a strange combination but then I started feel into the energy behind the combination, perhaps it was to appeal to what is trending at the moment rather than the consciousness that they came with.

  18. This is how we bring comfort to something and think it is OK. A classic example that means something is not the true imprint of what it is originally there to offer. What Serge Benhayon continues to present is the truth of yoga, what it means and what our relationship with it can be. A very different experience to mindfulness.

    1. Absolutely Serge Benhayon has re-imprinted the truth of Yoga, the true purpose, the truth path to our connection within. When one allows this connection of stillness, the magic is felt within.

  19. Our modern day distractions are a long way from what was taught by Patanjali. So what have we actually progressed from and to?

  20. it seems that we will do anything to avoid connecting to the love we all naturally are. Seems crazy but it is true. We all say love is what we want but we avoid it like the plague.

  21. It seems a very important part of life, to have some form of practise which holds a sense of re-connection to our divine essence or source. And this can be seen as important throughout time, our human history is a rich tapestry of rituals and ceremonies all with the true knowing behind them that there is something else besides or beyond this earthly life, with some rituals trying to make sense of it all and some practises offering a kind of guidance or support. What is interesting now however is the way that it would appear that this very fundamental part of being human is becoming somewhat distorted, where the divine source we can all re-connect with does not seem to be so important anymore, and the ritual, practise or ceremony has taken centre stage, thus loosing its true purpose – and so perhaps that is why alcohol has now become a part of some modern yoga practises, because the yoga has lost its soul. Which brings up for me, the question of why…

  22. The reality of true yoga brilliantly presented, our divine connection with our soul lived by our stillness and movement.

  23. It is great that we are shocked by the likes of beer yoga and moet meditation because the truth is they are shocking in that they make absolutely no sense when we consider the affects of alcohol on us. Alcohol relaxes us by dulling down what we are feeling, true yoga and meditation are tools to support us to connect with ourselves and feel what we are feeling.

  24. Much has been basterdised over the years and yoga is one of them. Drinking alcohol while practising ‘yoga’ could not be further away from the truth and it doesn’t surprise me as it seems we want to continually control and manipulate things in order not to feel the truth. Thank absolute goodness for Universal Medicine.

  25. “Those who have studied yoga in its true essence know that it is a way of living that is simply about union – union with our self and with God:” The craziness of drinking alcohol, be it beer or champagne, is ridiculous whilst ostensibly practising yoga, which is so far away from the true meaning of yoga that it should be called by another name. Not many people are aware that the asanas – poses – were a comparatively recent addition to yoga practice. I so appreciate Serge Benhayon for returning us to the true essence and meaning of yoga – the union of body. mind and soul.

  26. We have misinterpreted connection with relaxation and loosening up, we think the goal is relaxation and loosening up and have lost the connection that is possible with our essence, our soul. Even though alcohol might relax our muscles or make us lose our boundaries this is not true connection, Next to that definitely we do not need something from outside of ourselves to connect with ourselves and let go of tensions, we can only truly do this by a way of living that is supporting this connection and letting go, never can this be done by a pill, a drink or a substance we take in.

  27. 101 ways to bastardise yoga. They are certainly trying! Since the emergence of the esoteric yoga as presented by Serge Benhayon, other forms of yoga has become even more bizarre. The beautiful simplicity of connecting with our true essence, and being able to move through our day knowing who we truly are, is a timeless treasure that esoteric yoga offers.

  28. Union of self with God needs no outer stimulation whatsoever, for it is all about what is already inside us.

    1. 20 years ago I would have been tempted by this, such was my low self-esteem that I wanted attention and recognition and I thought being flexible could bring me that and that it was sexy. Cannabis is known for its numbing of pain so how easy would it be for someone to not even hear what their body had to say on being stretched too far.

  29. ‘”Moet and Meditation’? ‘Beer Yoga’? – Where is Patanjali’s Yoga Today?” – and we wonder how come the world is how it is today, in its dire state of affairs of everything opposite to love and the love of Patanjali’s yoga in its origination.

  30. Yoga and alcohol, is a reflection of how far society/humanity has separated from true health and well being, to practice yoga while drinking alcohol not only feels unnatural it also to me feels criminal for anyone who wants to truly connect with their inner self, because under the influence of alcohol this only keeps us further in separation.

  31. We all know absolutely that alcohol disconnects us from who we truly are and clearly has no place with true Yoga which is our way of deepening, our connection with ourselves, our bodies, our soul, our essence and so much more. Wow where are we going to, to allow this bastardisation to occur?

  32. ‘To live a life full of purpose, to develop the ‘kingly body’ that Patanjali spoke of, so we can let go of our hurts and emotions and re-connect to each other and to the simplicity life can be, and – most important of all – to be the love that we naturally are.’ yes this certainly is the life I would like and it is possible as I see people living it and choosing to know that it is not yoga and beer, or moet or anything else that doesn’t support a ‘kingly body.’

  33. I have never been a fan of yoga but one thing I do know makes sense is that for it to truly work, it must be taken forth out into life and not practised in intervals with life in between. Otherwise it just becomes a relief mechanism.

  34. We can roll our eyes and be shocked all we want to all the bastardized versions of Truth in this world, which is truly all expected, but the only way to all of this is to keep getting on with Life in steadiness and consistency nominating all that is not true along the way, but still getting on with it, for it would be wise to not waste any more time and simply to just live what is Truth.

  35. Yes this just goes to show how important it is to show the truth about all things, meditation being just one of them, through living life without the bastardisations that are going on everywhere. For every truth there is an illusion and these are typically popular in a society that has become used to them and been taken in.

  36. I can remember justifying the reason I drank alcohol by claiming that it gave me a feeling of being more confident in myself, and in one sense this was true as I would not feel anxious about speaking to anyone after I’d had a few drinks. However how I then interacted with people would make me cringe the following day when I realised how far away from myself I had come in order to do that. So introducing alcohol into a practice such as yoga which is ultimately about connecting more deeply with ourselves and the divine, is completely back to front, inside out and upside down.

  37. This is exposes what we say is normal, some say it is a novelty, but when alcohol is used to entice Yoga participants, well it says a lot about how we want to be continually stimulated as a humanity, rather than committing to actual healthy pursuits.

  38. I wonder if the current version of “Patanjali’s” yoga, as practised now, is perhaps also not quite in keeping with what Patanjali taught and Beer Yoga, is simply a step further down the ladder into murkiness?

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