Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Yoga Cynic Has Issues


It would be useless to try now to impose upon my narrative more order than there was in my life.
André Gide

....as may be obvious by now, the author of this blog has issues....

...was doing some personal writing...purely personal...none o’ yer damn business...when, as tends to happen, my inner blogger told me to turn it into a Yoga for Cynics post involving the various people inside my head...

...like the inner critic people talk, write, and do expensive self-help workshops about...even as my own inner critic’s telling me that Yoga for Cynics is delving into that airy-fairy realm of new age pop psychology where, in annoyingly cutesy-putesy ways, everything gets personified, and.......the inner blogger says shut up and write...

BALD heads forgetful of their sins,
Old, learned, respectable bald heads
Edit and annotate the lines
That young men, tossing on their beds,
Rhymed out in love's despair
To flatter beauty's ignorant ear.

William Butler Yeats, The Scholars

...I’ve written about my inner Foul Mouthed Grand Inquisitor...which works better, for me, than inner critic...most likely because, given the time I’ve spent as a professional literary critic, and around them, the image of some musty academic surrounded by dusty piles of books and reminder cards for therapy appointments, unable to say anything without citing a pile of jargon-laden articles from journals nobody reads, fails to embody the kind of fear involved...

...at Kripalu, we did this psychodrama kinda thing...taking the form of one’s own inner critic...not just personifying and speaking the natterings of self-doubt and -loathing running through our heads but taking on a physical posture to go along with them...which, for me, made a kind of asana from hell....seriously, my back hurt for days, afterward....which might say something about what happens to my psyche on a daily basis...

...which might bring us to the inner therapist...caring yet dangerously opinionated, ever groping toward that celebrated inner child...

...they open and close you, and talk like they know you,
they don’t know you, they’re friends and they’re foes, too...

Joni Mitchell, Trouble Child

...I get laughs in yoga class when the teacher asks if anybody has any injuries and I pipe up and say my inner child is wounded...but it’s only partially a joke....which may be be precisely what makes it funny...

...my inner yogi’d like to describe all of this in terms of koshas...annamayakosha, pranamayakosha, manamayakosha, vijnanamayakosha, anandamayakosha...sheaths surrounding the atman...the true, ultimate self-beyond-self.......which, to my inner pomo graduate student, sounds suspiciously phallic...

...(sometimes the inner pomo graduate student bears a suspicious resemblance to the inner adolescent...perpetually smart, creative, horny, reflexively defensive, and often downright nasty...sometimes acting like a flat-out inner bully...but without the sophistication of the inner critic or old-school pseudo-authority of the Grand Inquisitor....this shit gets confusing)...

Your business is watching my words. But I
admit nothing.

Anne Sexton, Said the Poet to the Analyst

...the inner blogger says now’s the time to bring this post to a satisfying conclusion...perhaps simultaneously funny and inspiring...the kind people really like, so they leave nice comments and share on Facebook and twitter and all that...but never quite enough to satisfy the other members of the inner committee...

...and ya wonder why it’s been a week and a half since the last post?...

17 comments:

Brenda P. said...

I think of mine as my Inner Control Freak.

Brooks Hall said...

One time, several years ago, in answer to the question about injuries at the beginning of yoga class, I answered, "my heart." It was a class where I didn't know anybody. It surprised the teacher. After the look of spiritual constipation crossed over her face, she generously offered that we would do some heart-openers, when what I might have preferred at the time would have been to bury my face and roll into a little ball in a heroic, yet futile attempt to protect my vulnerable wound.

I'm sure this doesn't help…

TheRiverWanders said...

I call mine The Chorus. They'd be awesome if they weren't so completely horrible.

Silliyak said...

You have issues, I have subscriptions. No, I don't know what that means, but I'm thinking of running for office and I'm practicing my inannity.

Plastic Card said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Meredith LeBlanc said...

I would love if my students would give me good, juicy answers when I ask if there an injuries. Mostly I get blank stares and one weak admission to a bodily malady. As for my inner critics, I think Statler & Waldorf have moved into me psyche.

Yes, I am sharing this...

the walking man said...

I have been reading this blog for over a year now and while not leaving my first post I just have to say...your inner foul mouthed critic just needs to shut the fuck up and let you have some peace and quiet.

Sarah said...

My reading glasses out of reach and me too lazy to hunt for them, I'm wondering whether you have an inner pomo graduate student or an inner porno graduate student. Squinting to read the word that's fuzzily beyond my grasp, my brow remains furrowed in confusion. This would be a good time for tiger (or is it lion when the eyes open wide and the tongue hangs out?). Clearly it's been too long since I've been to a yoga class...

earthtoholly said...

Ole nosy me. I was immediately intrigued by your personal writins, but, as suggested, I'll mind my own beeswax.

My inner critic and adolescent are at odds. Critic says "grow up" while adolescent wants to be all dramatic and make much ado about stuff that should be left alone. Ack.

Y is for Yogini said...

joni mitchell never lies. ;)

DaisyDeadhead said...

I tend to give em all distinct names... like, my inner critic is named "Pauline Kael" because she was so busy analyzing she often could not enjoy herself... I mean I DO pick these names FOR A REASON (LOL) but they are usually random when I start and I only realize my deeper identification or similarity with the person whose name I've chosen over time.

Mrs Mao keeps me from writing anything politically incorrect that will offend X group of people; she instantly sees what is offensive in the work of others. This isn't 'a critic' -- this is advancing a certain leftist sensibility and berating, even punishing those who do not share it. Mrs Mao is ruthless. However, if you remember who Mrs Mao really was, she didn't fare so well, and I have recently had to re-evaluate Mrs Mao and her ongoing employment with us here at DEAD AIR HQ... and yet, as soon as I do that, some of the delightful meanness is taken out of my political screeds, like taking the proverbial wind out of my sails... whoosh. (sigh) I am going on the radio in a couple of weeks (on a semi-regular basis), and it has emboldened yet frightened Mrs Mao, often in charge of rhetoric here at DEAD AIR HQ, so you can see the issue. (I am thinking of dividing the duties with "Flannery O'Connor", who is a great writer and speaker but VERY moralistic. Again, you can see the problems that could ensue!)

I have changed various of these terms over time, too... "Inner teenybopper" would be my term for "inner adolescent", for instance. That is the way I recognize it and the way it manifests in me, so it has been helpful for me to see it that way, and specifically my "swoon" reaction, which often seems very grown up and rational TO ME... again, I try to use helpful terms, so sometimes koshas WOULD be the terms you'd want to employ.

Really thought provoking and intense post; love it and have read it several times now. I tend to think/function in such similar ways!

Luckyoki said...

Well - recently - When my inner children (of various ages) rebelled against my inner rigid mom, my galley whip hollered at my slouching zen master and my inner ANTM judge had no photo for me at elimination, I spent a whole afternoon reading through your blog for a cheer up. NOW we're talking attachment, damn. Thanks anyway ;-)

https://twitter.com/#!/Luckyoki

Anonymous said...

Your blog gives me a headache......I'm going to subscribe to it. :)

Sybil

It's A Yoga Thang said...

I subscribe to many blogs and I find yours touches my inner kid often, so I make it a point to read yours, even when I'm strapped for time. You are unique and more than anything, you seem genuine and you make people (me)laugh...in a good way. Thanks again for a great post.

LauraX said...

ahh those natterings and such...it is hard to look at/listen to/embody our inner noise...and yet sometimes it is a healing thing to do...other times, it just spins us in circles and really doesn't hold us in the present moment at all but has the opposite effect. Gotta trust the inner "this is SO NOT HELPING" and be with what is, not what was or might be.

Lydia said...

My inner child is wounded... Now, that is one of those things you tell about yourself telling others that makes me wish I knew you in person!

Rachel Fox said...

oh, nice comments are overrated.
x