Spiritual Banker Or Corporate Yogi?

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We live in a world where bankers turn into yogis and yogis become successful business owners. Lately there has been a considerable trend of corporate crowd doing yoga courses and replacing typing with chanting. The stereotype is that banking is evil and yoga is the way to peace and spiritual transformation. At some point I was also attracted by the idea of quitting my sitting banking job and work in a spiritual environment like a yoga studio, which supposedly would improve my wellbeing and bring peace and love into my life. Often banking environment can be unfriendly, stagnated and uncreative. However, this illusion that the grass is greener on the other side has been forced out of my mind looking a bit more deeply into the world of modern yoga.

I have tried various yoga classes in London and now in Singapore to survive the stress of a typical busy corporate day and seek relaxation through asanas and pranayama. Unfortunately, what I have found is that many yoga teachers are egocentric, angry, frustrated and often dominating towards their clients, very much reminding me of bankers themselves. A friend of mine, who runs a successful yoga studio in London, once said to me that the yoga teachers’ egos she has to deal with are bigger than those of Hollywood stars.

Osho says that the mind is neither Eastern or Western. Anger, frustration and ego are shared by all of us, including cool yogis and bankers in London or Singapore. I have realised that just changing into yoga pants, is not a guarantee of spiritual development. Transformation is not so cheap as the illusion of becoming a yoga teacher might suggest. Doing a few asanas a day is of course very beneficial, but not necessarily enough to become a truly centred, loving and compassionate teacher able to help others.  

Fortunately, I have come across some really outstanding teachers whose presence, passion and love are incredibly uplifting and contagious. Personally I have been to some very “basic” yoga classes, in terms of technique, but the effect they had on my soul and body were unforgettable. It was all was due to the energy, awareness and love emanating from the teacher. One particular Pilates teacher, Sheila, saved me from misery and negativity at a particularly difficult time in my working career.

Equally, I am happy to say that I have come across some exceptional human beings in the corporate world, who radiate love and kindness at any opportunity. I have long dropped the idea that the world is divided into corporate people (“the bad guys”) and spiritual people (“the good guys”). Good people and bad people are everywhere, and that’s amazing. We all strive for the same: love, peace and happiness.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no place on earth which is immune to ignorance, anger and power. I guess we bring all of that within us wherever we go. But it is possible to turn things around. It is possible to turn any work, be it yoga or banking, into an enjoyable, creative and spiritual experience for oneself and others. This is how I understand Osho’s message. It does not matter what you do, it is all about how much awareness and love you put into it.

“Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing it is not purely economical, then it is creative. If you have something growing out of it within you, if it gives you growth, it is spiritual, it is creative, it is divine.” - Osho.