Did you know yoga is a gateway drug?

This story ran in the New York Times last weekend, and I’ve been going back and forth on whether to post it.

Obviously, I ended up going with “sure,” for two reasons:

  1. It is another example, like all the Times’ yoga stories, of the paper’s ability to jump to conclusions or find facts where, seemingly, none exist.
  2. It contains a line about yoga that keeps making me laugh.

First up, here’s the rationale for the story:

If the proliferation of websites, blogs, books and conferences are any indication, interest of late has been soaring for ayahuasca tea, a mix of two Amazonian plants, one a vine, the other a leaf. Combined, they contain D.M.T. and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, which promote psychedelic visions and euphoria.

Soaring? From what? What’s the baseline? Are there any facts here?

No. There’s not. Sound familiar?

But really, I want to pass on this warning:

In a world increasingly dominated by screen time, not dream time, it is not surprising that many people, having binged on yoga and meditation for years, are turning to a more dramatic catalyst for inner growth. But those who swear by ayahuasca’s usefulness (many say it’s like having 10 years of therapy in a night) also caution that it has to be treated seriously, calling their experiences while under its influence “work” because, in addition to causing them to vomit and sometimes have diarrhea, it can be frightening and challenging to the psyche.

That’s right. Yoga, and meditation, are basically a gateway drug for ayahuasca. So, a reminder:

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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