Do you ever find yourself strolling around the internet looking for nothing in particular when all of sudden you realize you’ve entered a black hole of BS that you just keep looking at even though with every passing minute it feels as if your soul is quickly slipping into an atrophied death?
Welcome to my nightmare:
Wait. These are the cream of the yoga crop? This is the best NYC yoga has to offer? What the hell was that? Let’s see if we can’t figure it out together….
The question posed seemed simple enough: “What is yoga in New York?” Of course you’d expect NYC’s finest to be able to impart something—anything—that spoke to why it is we’re each shelling out tens of thousands of dollars a year to these balloons.
But, that ain’t gonna happen. Not in this city! Cha-frickin’-ching!
First, we (respectfully) have Dharma Mittra, who I’m guessing was put first to establish some sort of yogic credibility to our little city of commercialized haze. What’s amazing is that whatever legitimacy Dharma was about to impart was actually clipped like the tails of puppy mill Pincers. Dharma begins to talk about why practicing yoga in the city is so beneficial. He says, “We have all the comforts. All the temptations.” And then, in a perfect display of contemporary yoga culture’s ADHD, the clip cuts to Dharma demonstrating an asana. I mean, you just can’t make this stuff up! So, just as Dharma is about to go into why practicing in an environment filled with social distractions is so beneficial to the practice itself, which would no doubt lead us to a greater understanding of yoga as a holistic system that extends beyond asana, the camera shuts the old man up and shows him performing an asana. Because really, isn’t it amazing that he still does asanas??? I mean, God. I hope I’m as devoted as him some day. He just lives his practice. You know what I mean??? I do. But, you ain’t there yet, sister.
Next, we have The Babarazzi’s ab-so-frickin-lutely FAVORITE spectacle in the NYC yoga scene, Sadie Nardini, who answers the question “What is yoga in New York” with a short but sweet bit on staying sane in the chaos, which, in case you didn’t know, is the stock answer when talking about doing anything “yogic” in the city. Nardini finishes with a declaration of love for the town that never sleeps.
Then, there’s Elena Brower who seems to teach or be a part of every yoga workshop the world has to offer. Seriously. Like, can I not take a yoga class that doubles as a self-empowerment workshop teaching me to own my own “truth?” Anyway, when asked what yoga is in the city, Brower says that yoga is making food for friends, which if you say in a seven-year-old girl voice seems to make a lot more sense. Seriously. Do it. Yoga is about making food for friends. There you go. Yoga!
Next, we get a chaotic glimpse of Laughing Lotus‘ Dana Flynn who in characteristic fashion screams a bunch of unintelligible jibber-jabber interspersed with the words “love,” “peace,” “family,” “spirit,” “bring it,” “dance,” “boogie,” and “shakti.” She then pulls Elena Brower on screen (See! She’s everywhere!) and gives her a big juicy yoga hug. (Can we call giving a hug a legit form of “yoga” yet? I mean, if it makes you feel good, than it’s obviously yoga, right? ‘Cause, like, yoga makes you feel good too.)
Then we catch up with NYC’s very own homegrown (vegan, did you know they’re vegan? They’re vegan you know. Did I mention they’re vegan?) “gurus,” Sharon Gannon and David Life. Sharon manages to quip, “Yoga in New York is another opportunity for enlightenment,” which, aside from the segment that cuts off Dharma Mittra, is the first statement that might actually have something to do with yoga. Mr. Life follows up with the words “fresh,” “happy,” “wonderful,” “amazing,” and “the BEST!” which I think are supposed to describe yoga in New York, but I can’t quite tell, ’cause they kinda don’t have anything really to do with the yoga per se. (I’m going to assume he’s taking the piss).
Here the video takes a warm-hearted turn. Perhaps feeling like so far the video was depicting what could only be described as the most vapid yoga scene in the world, the footage cuts to David Rominelli, who, let’s face it, everyone skips ’cause he’s talking about helping kids in Newark, NJ (not New York) who apparently “need the yoga the most.” Wait…. New- what? Ark? New Jersey? Oh, I get it. New York is New Jersey. Wait. What? I thought….
Phew…. Back to the heavy hitters. Next we find Cindy Lee of the soon–to–be–closed Om Yoga studio doing “savasana”—on a couch—while checking her iPhone. She calls this “yoga in New York,” and then let’s us know that this is totally cool ’cause of all her years of practice.
And there you have it, folks. Yoga. In. New. York!!!!!! What is it? Well, it’s:
- ignoring your elders
- being in love with the rapidly gentrifying city you live in
- making a salad
- jumping around and screaming at a video camera
- searching for enlightenment
- being “fresh” and “the best”
- actually leaving the city to hang out with a bunch of kids in Newark, NJ
- catching a few winks on the couch and reminding people that you’ve been practicing forever
- being stationary in movement
So…basically…what you’re saying is…that according to the most mainstream and popular teachers in NYC, yoga is whatever your twisted baggage tells you it is in order to keep the boogie man away.
Thanks. Got it.
I say this to you, fair readers of The Babarazzi. Aim high when looking for a person to teach you the life transforming traditions that comprise yoga. You do not have to settle! Find the good stuff! Find a very good teacher. They’re out there. They probably don’t advertise too much, you may have to travel in the rain to find them, they may not teach at a studio, and they may not teach the exact “form” of yoga you so dearly “want” to learn. But fear not. When you find a good one, hang on for dear life!