I don’t know what to say. As someone who prefers to practice in as little as possible, I get it. A thong is about as naked as one can get without actually being technically naked. Although, I’m of the belief that wearing a thong is almost more naked than naked. It’s like some beachified take on Baudrillard’s “hyperreality.” More real than real. More giblets than giblets.
Wearing the world’s smallest thong also seems to help “emphasize” certain aspects of the Ashtanga Yoga practice. Yes, you can see Derek Ireland’s insane control. Yes, you can see his ability to access severe core strength. Yes, you can see how focus and concentration manifest in asana mastery.
And, yes you can see Derek Ireland’s schlong doing what can only be described as an ancient form of supta kurmasana with a side of nauli kriya. I mean, wow…. That thing is really “present.” Not, however, as present as the camera-person’s artistic interpretation of “the subject,” which seems to translate as “Help. I can’t find Derek even though he’s literally right in front of me.” It’s almost like Derek is busting out the “intermediate series,” while the camera itself is doing a noon vinyasa chakra-play flow class. Like, take it easy, young interpretive camera master!
For those who don’t know, Derek Ireland is/was a significant figure in Ashtanga Yoga’s Western history, credited with bringing the ridiculously influential asana practice to Europe. He’s also credited with being a member of the “I Lived After Blowing Myself Up” club.
From his UK obituary:
“IN 1988, Derek Ireland, the charismatic yoga practitioner who was largely responsible with Radha Warrell for introducing to Europe the ‘aerobic’ yoga called astanga vinyasa, accidentally blew himself up with camping gas canisters on a Greek island. He was severely burnt on his legs and arms so a Greek doctor peeled the skin off. “He peeled my hand which really hurt because of all the nerve endings. My lateral ligament was sticking out like an onion ring,” Ireland recalled later.
He was flown to London for skin grafts. On arrival the doctors wrapped the burns in netting and plastic bags and bandages then left him for a few days before starting on the grafts. Whilst waiting, Ireland did head and shoulder stands. “It was the Olympics so I turned the television upside- down and watched it for an hour at a time.” Seven days later the doctors took the bandages off. The skin had healed. ‘No scars, nothing. But I felt tiny because I’d no prana left from healing this thing’.”
I never met the man, as he died of cancer in 1998, but my feeling is, if after blowing yourself up you speak the words, “I felt tiny because I’d no prana left from healing this thing,” my guess is you probably know a thing or two about prana.
Peace and blessings upon his mystery.
PS: Mr Ireland is also known to have been a promoter of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the Stanglers; practiced yoga in a weighted jacket that almost killed him; and once severed a nerve in his arm while practicing which left his arm “uncontrollable” and whipping him in the face while teaching tai chi.