Thanks to Derek Beres for hipping us to this:
[Click above if you want the story. I don't feel like retelling it.]
Now, I know a lot of really righteous yogis and yoginis out there wanna tackle this issue from the perspective of “Is it yoga or not to shill for a winery?” The fact is, it’s crazy easy to interpret any text or tradition to fit whatever the hell you want it to. That’s typically why we stay out of the “Is it? Is it not?” game. What we are really interested in, however, is the fact that Western yogis are simply stoopid over the idea that no one can tell them what is or is not yoga. And Yee goes along for the ride. Check it:
“Many yogis eschew alcohol, whether for personal reasons or because they feel it goes against yogic precepts. Saidman doesn’t agree. ‘We can all make our own way towards balance,’ she tells Buzz. ‘It doesn’t have to look like your next door neighbor’s, or the person on the mat next to you’.”
Is it me, or are Western yogis certifiably obsessed with the idea that yoga can be literally whatever you want it to be? Is it voracious American individualism gone coo-coo? Some weird yuppie form of “Don’t Tread on Me” gone boo-hoo?
“In fact, part of the reason she did the campaign, she says, is to try and break the stereotype that being a yogi means ‘being austere and living in a cave without worldly pleasures’.”
First off, I’m not sure why Western “yogis” feel it’s so darned necessary to convince people that you don’t have to go into a cave to practice yoga. Really. Why is that such a major agenda on the part of yoginis to the point where it has become cliché to even mention it? Have any Western yoga teachers actually spent any amount of substantial time (like over a year) practicing yoga in a cave to know that it’s not necessary? I know few yoga teachers who could go twenty-four hours without masturbating all over their iPhones, let alone hang out in a dark dingy cave with a bunch of chastity belt-clad sadhus poking at them with their Siva tridents.
Ugh. Now, I know we’re probably supposed to come up with some blistering response to all this, but really it all just sounds so boringly lame. The only semi-intelligent thing we could come up with is this:
Ms. Yee, you sound like a child. That’s either the author’s fault or your own. Figure it out.
PS. This is definitely a form of Yoga Bleaching:
yoga bleaching: 1. a form of marketing in which yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle is used to make an otherwise unrelated product appear to be in line with yogic principles. 2. the act of using yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle to sell an unrelated product. 3. a form of spin or marketing intended to deceive consumers into believing that a product is related to yogic practice or theory when in fact it is not.