Here are a few comments relating to Monday’s “Yoga Body” post with some thoughts of our own in regards to said comments. Henceforthwith we go onwaywardwith!
From the Facebook:
“[Y]oga has always been – evolving. Good evolution needs to be in contact with yoga’s roots, but it cannot thrive if it puts ‘lineage’ ahead of the emergent moment.”
Lineage is a tricky thing. This is especially true when read in light of the concept of “evolutionary lineage,” which basically defines “lineage” (what distinct spiritual traditions often read as “fixed”) as the very act of “evolution” (which most people read as “in flux”). In reality, however, to be a part of lineage is to be evolving. Think “family tree” and you’re on the right track.
So, while it’s true The Babarazzi pokes fun at the way in which commercial yoga culture runs screaming naked through the streets every time someone farts a fart that sounds like, “Hmmm… maybe what commercial yoga culture is presenting as yoga isn’t actually yoga at all, and here’s a library of texts that support this,” we also feel that people obsessing over being a part of a “lineage” to be equally a summer bummer. ‘Cause, really, what else is there?
Not to mention, as soon as you use the “my yoga is part of a lineage and yours isn’t” argument, you’ve pretty much thrown every card you have on the table along with all your sexy silk panties. I mean, let’s face it. You’re pretty much left with no recourse when your debate partner points to your “sticky mat” on their way to the juice bar.
That said, lineage’s are cool and if you align yourself with one, you’re pretty much the star of the yoga potluck, and probably gonna score some digits tonight.
“As far as I’m concerned, [20th century yoga is] just a modality, which makes it no more nor less authentic than, say, sitting in a smashan drinking blood from a skull, or huddling around a fire sacrificing ghee.
The word “authentic” is significant here. Authenticity by definition refers to the ability to locate a thing’s undisputed origin. In that sense, yes, I agree. Both “heliyoga” and $20,000 spiritual cubes are totally authentic.
Now, what did Matthew have to say?
“Folks relax more into practice when they can contemplate the fact that most lineages contain more improvisation and uncertainty and competing objectives than they let on.”
Let’s talk about relaxation for a minute. In my experience, people “relax” when their interpretation of reality is confirmed. If wishing yoga was a clusterfuck free-for-all of dada-esque ribaldry, than, sure, you’re gonna relax if someone tells you that’s exactly how it is. If, however, you’re on your fifth day of constipation ’cause the food at the ashram you donated your life savings to sucks, and it’s been six years since you’ve seen a woman in a bikini, you best hope someone doesn’t come along and tell you you’ve just been Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher. Otherwise, you will find yourself on the wrong end of the relaxation stick.
Meaning: relaxation without a previous peeling away of hitherto unchecked secret “Please tell me I will never die” thoughts is really just a sleeping pill. Don’t get me wrong. Happy thoughts are a necessary evol for social beings in a so-called civilized world. Personally, I LOVE it when I’m about to go to sleep and someone whispers in my ear, “You are the coolest person in the room and everyone knows it.”