Collective Delusion

Is what we are experiencing as a country. I stopped checking out YogaDork’s site awhile ago because either I outgrew it or else it became sort of a gossip celebrities doing yoga site. I went there yesterday because I have been sidelined with an ear infection that has me lying down on my side to avoid both pain and vertigo so my iPhone has been the only source of entertainment and I have of course overindulged. Anyway, I find this post about How Bernie has taught this person yoga through observing his attitude and behavior and I lost it. Not because she said anything that would be considered untrue but because someone’s yoga practice is a place of refuge, not a place to sell  your candidate’s qualities no matter how wonderful they are. And that is before I read the comments. Too bad I was not dizzy enough not to leave one. You can view it here to see how I got suckered into reacting to one comment.  She hooked me by associating Trump’s platform to the Mangala Mantra. I know, shame on me for falling for that bait, but please remember that I am on antibiotics and pain killers as well as bored out of my mind. I bring this up because I went ahead and checked this commenter’s blog and it changed how I feel about the flexibility of learning Ashtanga from just anybody or from a card. There she announces that in a year and two weeks she now has has learned Primary, Intermediate, and 3rd by taking LED classes. Somewhere somebody is teaching led 3rd series.  I suppose that is not against any law and you probably can learn that in acrobat school down in Sarasota, but it was hard to read. I know this person is not the only intense (when I really mean unhinged) person who practices advanced asana and does not care or know that Ashtanga means eight and there are 7 more things to learn how to practice. What bothers me is that people will think that Ashtanga is just the difficult asana and that you have to be a mofo badass in order to practice. What a really have to learn is to use the southern saying “Bless her heart” and truly mean it.

 

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7 thoughts on “Collective Delusion

  1. Great post! It’s funny but I too happened to check out Yoga Dork, after a long while, and I read (well, skimmed) that article. Didn’t read the comments. Didn’t have a strong reaction to it. I feel like anyone who teaches yoga needs to write words about yoga as part of their personal branding, just more “yadda yadda” but less personally entertaining to me than celebrity gossip (I’m terrible) and/or vegan activism (with good intentions) 🙂

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    • I got sidetracked when I saw double digits for the # of comments and that’s where I found the Atlas Shrugged fan who wanted to put in a good word for her candidate using the Mangala Mantra. I would have been fine if I had not gone snooping into her blog. I guess it can backfire if you decide to brand yourself by political afiliation. It’s best to leave that with your shoes at the door. I think that can only reduce the variety of clients/students that would seek you out.

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  2. Then that bit about yoga is for everybody would be all bogus! But seriously, unless you spend the entire class speaking while your students try to do asana, it really should not come up. The only reason to expell or not accept a student should be innapropiate behavior in the premises. Also failure to pay what was agreed upon as Dana.

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  3. That girl’s blog was entertaining! I could only stay for a few seconds however. The thing is: anybody can practice at practicing Ashtanga even Ayn-Rand-Loving-Trump-Supporting-Project-Rail-Thinning types. It’s OK. It’s important for our mental health to not overly self-identify with any single group because even Ashtanga attracts more than a few wing-nuts. I felt sorry for her after those few entertaining seconds though. Poor thing. I blame the current state of affairs on two things: one is the delusion that we are building ‘community’ online when what we are actually doing is creating networks. Networks are like-minded people/groups/things linked together, all into the same thing. Community is much messier, more like our real-life neighborhoods. Real community, when done well, works for everybody, even the mean Trump supporter next door who everyone rushes to help when their house catches fire. That’s community. Getting along despite our differences. The other thing I blame for the state of polarization is the way the internets have made us all think that our precious opinions matter so much more than other people’s feelings. So we end up with blogs like our vegan martini-loving dog mommy angry Ashtangi. OK I better go now. Love you!

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  4. I frequently end up saying a thankful prayer every time I remember there was no facebook blogs instagram when I was 20 and even 30! And yes we lay claim to some of the most Vata deranged athletic obsessives in our community. In fact we might be #1 in that department I’m pretty sure. The button that got pushed for me there was seeing the Mangala Mantra sandwiched in between Ayn Rand and Trump, and used as evidence for the virtues of objectivist capitalism. My hair was on fire until I began to browse her blog and I softened a bit with some compassion. In my life I have seen online networking translate into community. Not one as intimate as family or the friends forever you met in your twenties, but significant and reasonably authentic, to the point that it holds up when face to face meetings occur. Maybe it happened in spite of social media instead of because of it. Hard for me to tell. I mostly think that this young woman’s blog is perhaps a rough patch in a very young person’s lifeline. In time it will become apparent that the last thing a sophisticated person would do is call themselves a yoga sophisticate. Love you back!

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