BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL
Mar. 6, 2016, Toronto, ON - Gotta love marketing. It’s a great way to sell an idea, which, in turn, can sell a product. In today’s consumption-driven society, it’s not necessarily about selling the utilitarian purpose of any given product anymore; rather, the hedonism that can be associated with it. In our continuous progression towards "modernization", hundreds of new products hitting store shelves each week, it seems that we've tacitly come to accept that: all products pretty much do the same thing. As such, in order to quell our deliberation between "this product" or "that", we must entrust in mental shortcuts to help us make the final decision. We aren't looking to be sold a really great product anymore --- we're looking to be sold a really great idea of what lifestyle that product can provide.
“This could be you.” “You could be better than what you are.” “We all have struggles.” “We are all one.” “Do you want to be free?” “Don’t you want to look better? Feel better? Be better?” “Let me show you how this product can help make you feel like you're already there.” All of the ideal, none of the hard work.
Granted, I’m not saying that this type of marketing is a bad thing --- I personally enjoy it. To me, it's clever. However, as with all things in life, it's important to acknowledge both sides. So: yes, they are promoting a really great idea behind becoming a better human being. Yes, they are pushing consumers more towards spirituality and living a more fulfilled existence. Yes, they are suggesting that our future should be a brighter, more Self-loved one. However, let’s not forget that they're still selling a product, here. The true practice of yoga is to do away with all superficial attachments by seeing them for what they truly are. In this case, the superficial has taken on the form of the material. Now, that isn't to say you shouldn't own nice things, but simply recognize that these nice things shouldn't own you.
Sure, those yoga pants are really fashionable. But they aren’t going to make your practice any better. Sure, the concept of becoming a better human being is highly inspirational. But it’s about actively doing something that will evoke this kind of change in the first place. Sure, the idea of finding your stillness in order to find your higher self is a very real truth. But don't mistake spirituality for superficiality.
Initially, my reaction, when having first come across this commercial on YouTube, was that it was an impressively captivating one. It was an elegant way of displaying a very real and beautiful truth. However, beyond that, the true practice still lies solely with the practitioner. It's not the clothes; the concepts; or the ideals, that will make you any better, but the actual practice of recognizing that you already are something much greater than what you readily think you are.
So, play wisely, my friends -- and always remember to consume with consciousness.