Yoga: Just the right ‘edge’ for Wall St.

I know I quickly dismissed the idea that BKS Iyengar’s passing had the yoga world debating whether we all are misusing yoga.

Maybe this piece at CNBC should, though. Here’s the lead (lede for you journalist types):

In the fiercely competitive environment of Wall Street, almost everyone is looking for an edge—from traders who spend years memorizing the trading patterns of a handful of stocks, to research analysts who dig through their Rolodexes (literal and virtual) to delve into the details of a company’s supply chain.

I bet you can see where this is going. Yes: “Bankers, traders and fund managers are practicing yoga in order to build their mental faculties and improve their ability to focus, claiming that it can serve them well at work.”

Now, before we judge (too late?), the piece doesn’t just suggest that heightening mental focus helps Wall St. workers make more money (and, if you like, beat down Main St.). It is more familiar: Yoga helps those in a stressful, crazy work environment calm and settle themselves.

It’s just that the spin, as above, makes it awfully easy to come to the conclusion: Yoga is being used for no good.

Which, of course, it is. And has been, going back as far as you can trace yoga’s history. Because: People. (My own spitball guess is the 23rd person — and likely all men at this point — to “do yoga” was the one who figured out he might be able to use what he was getting from it for his own gain.)

Your reaction to this piece — and the general themes behind it — likely will vary given your perspective on whether any bit of yoga is better than none at all for people.

Honestly, I go back and forth on that question.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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