"Point of view 1 - The Joisyoga.com brand and shala is appalling, it is all about making money, it is changing the tradition and threatening the business of very senior and respectable teachers in the area. Not only that but they are morphing the lineage into something that we do not know what will be. Who knows what the future will bring.
Point of view 2 - Change is inevitable, this place is already open and happening, the heads of the lineage are actually supporting it, this might expose more people to ashtanga yoga, and the tradition has already changed, many times, as in: the yoga that Pattabhi Jois taught Saraswathi, Sharath, et all, is not the same yoga that Brahmachari taught Krishnamacharya in his cave at the foot of Mount Kali.
Things changed, very much so. Oh, and who knows what the future will bring."
It seems to me that, logically speaking, there is actually a third point of view that one can take on this issue. I say "logically", because it is, in a way, a logical extrapolation from both viewpoints 1 and 2:
Point of view 3: The head of the lineage (in this case, Sharath) is actually supporting JoisYoga. He does this in full knowledge of the fact that a senior teacher (Tim Miller) has been running his studio just down the road for 30 years. Is the head of the lineage acting judiciously by knowingly taking an action that might create disharmony in the ashtanga yoga community? Is making money and/or getting the ashtanga word out to millions of people so important that it is worth sacrificing harmony and goodwill in the community of practitioners?
I am not saying that I hold point of view 3 (although the more I think about it, the more I cannot deny that it might be at least a possibility). But I am a little surprised that nobody in the debate so far holds this view (at least, nobody has brought it up in writing). I wonder what that says about the state of mind of us ashtanga practitioners. Do we hold certain things to be sacred cows in our practice or tradition (or whatever you want to call it)? Are certain things or people so sacred that we cannot or would not even think of questioning or criticizing them?
I'm not advocating criticism for criticism's sake. But we in the western world (actually, the eastern world too) pride ourselves on being independent-minded beings who are critical of whatever we choose to accept or not to accept. But if there are certain things in our life or practice that we consciously or unconsciously hold to be sacred cows, then isn't there a disconnect between this practice of "sacred-cowing" and our supposed ability to be independent, critical beings with a healthy dose of skepticism?
Hmm... this whole post is starting to sound more and more like a sermon ("Welcome to Reverend Nobel's Saturday morning service, where the coffee is fresh, and the sermons will rouse you out of your hangover, if the coffee doesn't!"), so I better sign off now. But I think you get what I am saying.