Saturday, September 25, 2010
I met Carol Horton of the blog: Think Body Electric last night. We had food and drink at Mana, one of my favorite places right across the street from Yogaview-Division. It’s always so great to meet blog friends, and it was a delight to meet Carol.
Guess what we talked about??
Well, we talked about yoga culture and yoga blogging, Internet culture and relationships.
I heard Carol express concerns about how yoga is increasingly being taught as more of a workout sport, and less as a spiritual discipline. And I also heard her say that when she started yoga, she really wanted to stretch out, but she remembered that some of her earliest teachers said things about synchronicity and spirituality that made her stop and think in different ways at times. And at some point the yoga really hit home and became an important and safe place for her to nurture her authentic self.
I found myself identifying with what I heard her saying (I hope I got it right—there’s always the danger that I might have just seen my own projections.), and I found myself thinking that our early yoga paths may have been somewhat similar.
The image of yoga, as it is becoming more incorporated into American culture and advertising parlance, seems to be taking on popular notions about beauty and worthiness for women which means thin and physically desirable to men. This directly presents a deep and personal conflict for women (not unlike me) who through the process of yoga have found a connection to personal authenticity that went previously unrecognized by others, but now is seen and known, personally, by individual practitioners of yoga, possibly through a breakthrough experience during the practice.
I understand this. Our personal revelations about life are sacred and important. And worth honoring and protecting.
Blogging about yoga gives a forum for people who care enough about it to devote time regularly to writing about it to be read (or “heard”) by others, and there is an opportunity for feedback. This is the richness of this medium. Blogging has been such a blessing for me because of this. Through blogging I have learned that I am not alone. In fact I have discovered that others feel similar to me on yogic subjects. This has been very affirming.
Another richness of the feedback in comments is that they can contain viewpoints that differ from those expressed in the original post. If this is done in a respectful manner, it can be very helpful to readers and writers on the Internet.
What has sometimes happened (recently in my direct experience) is that someone will openly attack someone else personally (and/or behind their back). Personal attacks are not appropriate or helpful. I think that when people get into attack mode it indicates a personal issue getting triggered, and in that reactive or "triggered" mentality we might just want to make the other person “wrong” or somehow convince ourselves that they are insignificant (lesser than our higher or more relevant viewpoint).
Another option (rather than an automatic attack) is to take some time and process the anger through personal journal writing, or another private avenue like talking to a trusted person outside the direct conflict to gain clarity. Then, if you want to take on the issue or idea publicly, do it in a way that honors and respects all parties involved, but be heard. Allow your distinct viewpoint to get some air and eyes. It’s always a risk if you know or aren’t sure if others agree. But do it. I think it helps everybody to open our minds and hearts to understand multiple viewpoints.
Another response that I find suspect is just shutting someone out. If you are deeply disturbed by something someone has said try to find out more, possibly through personal email (or possibly through personal journal writing), if the subject seems sensitive. But if you don’t like something you read in someone’s writing after years of relationship, and respond by unfriending on Facebook or unfollowing and blocking them on Twitter, what message does that send?
It sent a confusing message to me when that recently happened. I just don’t know why two friends that I’ve included in my prayers, and helped me through some lonely times, particularly when I was new to blogging, have suddenly cut themselves off from my info. But I honor their apparent need to define a boundary right now.
That’s it in a nutshell (for now...): Yoga Culture, Blogging, Internet Culture, and Relationships.
I am getting an education.
Thanks, Carol! I’ve only processed a bit of our in-depth conversation. I really appreciate the opportunity (that we seized) to get together and share ideas.
What a blessing!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Check out this inspiring post by Georg Feuerstein:
The Future is Open
"First, we must recognize that we can determine our future as individuals and as a species. Second, we must realize that we are capable of choosing wisely."
Have a wisdom-infused inspiring day!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Monday, September 20, 2010
"…one doesn’t want to end up in the middle of something that doesn’t have anything to do with you. (Although I am a long-time user of the internet and am well aware of the way discussions evolve and devolve around here. That I get.) Nonetheless, the questions I’m asking feel ill-timed, if nothing else." ~ Anonymous commenter.
Friday, September 17, 2010
It was so fascinating to find this link to my post at Elephant. I like the post, too!
I think she might get the fan/jealousy angle of Tara better than I did with my post at Elephant.
Anyway: happy weekend, beautiful readers.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I am so grateful to Suzanne for sharing this piece, posted at Elephant Journal.
It is such a blessing because, for me it seems to also shed light on the current difficulties that yoga fundamentalists are having with the commercialization of yoga.
"(They) were threatened by a different characterization of the divine. Both feared that someone else’s freedom meant losing their own."
~ Suzanne Clores
So, yogi-friends, I think that the deeper lesson in all of this is to be courageous and reach out, open our hearts, and get along together. This doesn't mean that we will always agree. I realize that a recent post of mine suprised and hurt at least one blog friend, but I have to be free to speak whether friends agree or not.
I invite dialogue but have recently received intolerance from at least one, along with a lot of great conversation from others. I give myself permission to express myself joyfully, truthfully, and sometimes playfully, and if any reader feels I'm off: I hope you will tell me in the comments, so we can exchange respectful words and reach a better understanding together.
And check out Suzanne's thought-provoking and inspiring article at Elephant Journal.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Yoga is our nature. The sacred scriptures are written into our DNA (B.K.S. Iyengar wrote a sentence like this.). So I practice yoga to know myself better. Other texts and teachers can be helpful when the timing is right, but practice alone reveals beyond what is already known.
"99% practice and 1% theory"
~Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
This post at Elephant Journal is my peace offering toward popular yoga. I may not always be at peace with the things I see happening in popular yoga, but these women have worked hard and lived their lives to be where they are. So this post is an honoring.
Be well in yoga!
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
“Yoga becomes your own. I’m going to do yoga forever. There is no logical reason to stop. Yoga is for your life.”
Rosalia Holt was teaching the longest-running yoga class in the Chicago area. She started the class in 1967 at Trinty United Church of Christ. Ms. Holt passed away last Sunday night. She was 86.
Here is an article about Rosalia Holt and other Chicago area yoga instructors over 65. How inspiring!
And here is a beautiful video that was made in response to a request for older extraordinary yoga teachers when Dr. Oz was starting his own TV show.
“Rosalia was such a special person--always smiling, laughing, very positive, saying kind things to strangers, and giving positive words of encouragement wherever she went. She was a true yogi, and a very kind one.”
~Sharon Steffensen, editor of Yoga Chicago magazine