Yoga and Consumption

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs TriangleDesire for the “basic material needs”  such as food, shelter, and clothing are natural.  So is our urge to upgrade these items so they are flavorful or beautiful.  But at some point, our desire can cross the line to excess.  Just think about our commercial society, and all of the advertisements that bombard us each day from so many sources.  ..

We live in social, economic and political culture designed to encourage consumption.  This systemic materialism takes advantage of our survival instinct to gather beyond our needs in order to be prepared for lack in the future.  Advertising is designed to pervert that instinct in order that we consume superfluous and even harmful stuff.  Products are designed to break and be replaced.  Critics have observed that our consumerist society shifts us ” away from values of community, spirituality, and integrity, and toward competition, materialism and disconnection.”

See if you can think of some material object that you wanted very much, but after you bought it, you felt disappointed.

Yoga is about union — integration in the sense that our values and our actions are congruous.  For instance,  yoga asana is about practicing Non-Attachment (Aparigraha) and Contentment (Santosha) on the mat — and then taking those ideas with you to inform life off the mat.


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