I think there is something about shopping that makes people feel "safe". It's like, if I can afford this new item, then I feel safe because, I can afford it.
I think there is something to say about the yoga of marketing. Think about how many people you know that buy "things" like "Om ware" , Buddha beads, mala bracelets, extra yoga stuff. These things become symbols that say something about a person. Symbols of being a part of something and maybe even agree with it.
For me, many of these symbols really reflect religious views or religious symbolism, much like wearing a crucifix. What I do not think most folks realize is that these items being targeted and marketed to people are for the religion of money.
I understand the human need to find something, to feel connected through symbolism in a T-shirt with Om on it. I feel conflicted about what I know about Hinduism and its practices toward women - for example. I am Agnostic and any religion does not sit well with me.
Shopping does keep the economic flow moving in streams and rivers of survival. Keeps the markets flourishing. We judge people often in these religious sorts of traps for shopping or other distractions (aids) - we actively romanticize the monk who lives on the mountain (all needs provided), or the teacher who heads of an Ashram (all survival needs met to include adoration).
I admire the students that sit and struggle in class. I admire the people who work hard in communities world wide where corporations and governments really make big decisions for the "big boys"...and all the good folks worldwide that struggle between war and poverty, loss of homes, incomes, health issues and that list continues.
Be careful all of you teachers who presume to know what is best for others. People aspiring to things that are not realistic - like zipping off to the latest most exotic country and getting "real", or getting "natural, or native" and forgetting about what is going on in the bigger picture.
Yogi's, teachers, leaders, parents, partners don't just abandon their lives (like in the movies). A little bit of shopping, picking up new pillow or fishing pole, might just be enough to provide some amusement as we citizens of our countries deal with the trickle down effects of our leaders. I don't really have much respect for someone with money simply going native for awhile to exotic destinations and then coming back adorned in beads and tattoos - symbols of their travels - and trying to tell the good folks at home without such luxuries how to live.
Pay attention to the words of your teacher(s) and leaders. Do they practice what they preach? Do they tell you that you are too focused on "materialism" or otherwise, when all of their needs are met? Do they really get it, what you are going through? If they offer you unsolicited advise, its clear they have no idea.
So the next time to decide to spend money on a yoga class, find out what kind of yoga the teacher is teaching, what teachings are they using, do they even know about the teachings or do the words simply sound "cool" - hip? Can they lead you and guide you to accept yourself exactly as you are? Can they accept you exactly as you are? Take a breath and look inward for guidance. For deep within you is a fountain of wisdom, yes sometimes its dark in there, but the smallest light is brightest in the darkest of space.
My hearts love to you my fellow human being. May our paths cross before our time has come to move on.....