Q & A: “McDonald’s-style yoga gyms”

Dear Friend, today I just have time to answer a few more emails from
the Tantra Tips inbox… enjoy…

An email we received:

Thank you Tao!

I am so glad I found you! it seems like the “McDonalds-style yoga gyms” are the only ones out there.

The reason I am so excited about your eMail is that I have been trying to find a good school for my brother in Miami for about 6 months now. I will definitely give him your Number and encourage him to go see you guys.

I have been studying with Mark Whitwell in Los Angeles for almost 2 years. Doing a daily – personal practice that is unhooked from any attempt to look a certain way or become LA’s best Yoga Gymnast…

It has had a great effect on my life and it’s great to learn that there are more teachers out there with the same approach to Yoga.


Tao’s Reply:
Thank you, Roy! I get excited every time I see someone exploring the
true meaning and practice of yoga. Hope to meet you one day, and in
the meantime,


Success Story and Question: Followers and Leaders
Dear Tao,

I don’t really know if I am a potential “success story” or not but have had exposure to the Tantric life through someone I thought was a love in my life from Romania. Your letter brings to point many issues that brought me concern especially ” We do not intrude: I’m sure you’ll
agree, you cannot become a spiritual master by groveling at the feet of a cult leader, “facilitator,” or ashram director.”

Without getting in too much detail, my friend in Romania is a devoted follower but I was concerned often of the practices there and did not see that independence that I thought the tantric way would help one develop.

I am very interested in your letter below and also the possibility to study independently as I do not live in Florida and travel almost every day, but mostly in mid-west states.

So, I guess the “Potential Success Story” is me and I am curious to know more about what you will reveal in May and any other thoughts you have that may help me move to the next step.

Regards, Paul

Tao’s Reply:
Paul – thank you for writing! You are right about balancing independence with good guidance.
Even in the path of devotional yoga (Bhakti), which can be *very* powerful, a practitioner must balance her external devotion with inner-focused self-work.

The true guru, lama, or spiritual teacher provides only what guidance is needed. The teaching method may be orthodox or unorthodox, but its goal should be the student’s own Self-Realization, not to produce more followers!

Real spirituality is not an opiate, creates dullness and blind dependence! Spiritual teachings should instead be an inoculation, strengthening the students’ own abilities and clarity.

The true student works hard on their connection with the “inner guru”, not on desperately grasping at the robes of an often all-too-human teacher.

Smile, breathe right, and keep your tongue up!

Tao Semko

  • December 5, 2012