Friday, August 30, 2013

This Is Not Yoga


The line between exploring and experimenting and simple and shameless self-indulgence can be difficult to see...but easy to ignore.
Ancient and Revered Yoga Cynic Sutra 111:895

...if there's one thing yoga bloggers like to talk about even more than yoga, it's...y'know...not yoga...as in [outraged yet self-consciously calm and mindful tone] this commercialized/sexualized/nothin'-but-asana/glorified-gymnastics/new-agey/unhealthy-body-image-based/generally westernized/low-grade-celebrity-infested/sexist/egocentric/generally-corrupted-from-its-pure-roots-in-pure-uncorrupted-and-always-totally-spiritual-magical-mystical-Indyaaaa-where-they've-certainly-never-been-patriarchal-or-had-a-brutal-caste-system-or-oppressed-religious-minorities-or-had-abusive-gurus-or-anything-else-that-I-know-of-but-if-they-did-I'll-blame-it-on-western-influence/let's-face-it-just-not-as-spiritual-as-I-am crap IS NOT YOGA...

...but that's not what I'm talking about here....like I always say, in order to be disillusioned about yoga...or anything else, for that matter...ya gotta be illusioned in the first place...so that, most likely, the sooner that illusion gets dissed, the better...

...no, I’m here to talk about non-yoga in its purest form...by which I mean not doing that asana practice with all those vinyasas and sun salutations and twists and bends and stuff that, for better for worse, we have come to define as yoga AT ALL...which, thanks to some badly strained muscle fibers in my upper left arm, is what I've been practicing lately....and this non-yoga, let me tell you, really, really sucks...
 
...I mean, really, if you are the kind of insane freak who feels the need for a serious hardcore daily yoga practice, and yet sometimes wonder, cynic that you are, if it’s really worth all the time, money, and effort, there’s simply no way to find a truer, deeper appreciation for the practice than to fuck up some part of your anatomy so that you have to take a thoroughly unplanned extended break...

...one thing that’s not said enough, except on yoga blogs, where it’s continually brought up like yet another revelation that nobody’s ever thought of before, is that you can get hurt practicing yoga....but, of course, it’s not yoga’s fault...and that’s true...in my case, as in most such, the problem is not practicing mindfully...continuing to push oneself in the practice even though the body is sending clear warning signs, until those warning signs get pronounced enough that they can no longer be ignored...
 
...(of course it should be noted that some yoga injuries are at least partially the fault of unskilled or unmindful teachers...but that's not my problem...my teachers are awesome...and I can hardly wait to practice with them again)...

...and so I ice my arm, bike, meditate every day, and generally work on being more mindful, of my health and other things...trying to use this time away from the practice as a necessary step back to heal and assess...which is a good thing...

...but that doesn’t mean I have to like it...

4 comments:

roseanne said...

i'm so with you here, dr jay! i'm also working with an injury right now, which has limited my asana practice. but it's given me the perfect opportunity to explore other aspects of yoga (namely, deep relaxation and pranayama) and be patient with myself. although my injury isn't a yoga injury (i injured one of my rotator cuff muscles when i jumped in a lake - go figure), it's still had an impact on my asana practice. my ice pack is my new guru. take care of yourself and happy healing!

lesbarkeit said...

I have a pitty with you and your arm, but ...LOL! More pitty I get with myself, when clicking the link to your teachers: Supersonic savasana... will never get this in a german province town... never learn what it means ... sigh...

Erik Donald France said...

Glad you're still going. Today I checked all my links and discovered half a dozen have drifted away into oblivion.

Samsara. And that's the way it goes.

Meanwhile, I'm going to a go-go by way of some Royal Road :->

the walking man said...

Go grab a Philly cheese Steak and rest the arm you can get back to being cynical when you can put weight or twist or whatever it is you yogics do to your arms.