If you take a look at the city of Detroit it was one of the greatest cities of the 20th Century. Some of the greatest innovations came out of Detroit in that period. People from all over the world came to be a part of it, to work in the city, to live in the city, to come together. Take a look at it now, it is broken and it has been for a long time.
Detroit is now one of the poorest cities in the United States and it is one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Conversely Yoga means to unify, to bring together. So you have a once great and now broken city, and then you have Yoga, the unification of, the bringing together of. Now this (Detroit Yoga) is a much grander idea and a much more difficult task than just doing some stretches and chanting some oms or saying some namastes…this requires each one of us to practice diligently daily, take a hard look at ourselves, observe how we are thinking, behaving, interacting with each other, and to honestly and whole heartedly work on becoming a better version of ourselves.
In yoga philosophy, it is said that there are six poisons shrouding the human heart. To become whole, we need to eradicate desire, anger, delusion, greed, sloth, and envy from our thought, word, and deed. One could say it is these six poisons in one form or another that broke apart the greatness of Detroit, and it is by carefully observing and removing each one of these poisons in ourselves, as individuals, that can bring about the Unification of Detroit and bring it back to greatness.
The name Detroit Yoga has nothing to do with something as simple as just a location, it's a much larger idea. I chose Detroit even though my school is in Royal Oak because it's history is exemplary of the greatest attributes we humans have to offer, and also the worst we have in the human heart that can tear us apart. These 6 poisons, if not checked in an individual, can then spread to a culture or society, a city or a nation, and will always lead to darkness and destruction. To quote The Yoga Sutras, “It is through the cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy, and indifference to pleasure and pain, virtue and vice respectively, that the consciousness becomes favorably disposed, serene, and benevolent.” This is the practice of Yoga. This is the way to Detroit Yoga (union).