You know how, when you fall in love, you think your relationship is the best, healthiest and most enchanting relationship ever? And how sometimes you can get all snarky about the quirks and hang ups of your friends’ love lives and dramas? Well, the same goes for any infatuation or lusty attraction. And it seems that as we in the yoga world experience a tremendous boom in our community, we can get a little high on our horses about how other people crush on their yoga practice or wellbeing lifestyle.
So, as I have been surfing around yoga blogs (which is another thing the yoga community likes to do… blog), I have compiled my list of 7 Things Yogis Love to Hate. No one should feel bad or anything, but you might take a minute and feel like everyone else who thinks their life is more awesome than yours. We are all in it together.
1. Sex Appeal – Remember the Kathryn Budig/toesox/Yoga Journal scandal? Everyone and their mom had an opinion about what it said about the vanity of yogis to use nudity to sell a product. As if sex, not consumerism, might be the general problem behind the advertisements.
2. Skinny People – You might get the impression that if you are skinny or toned, and you do yoga, then you have an ego problem. It might be true that anyone with super toned arms just does yoga for the work out and if you have a tight ass you just want to get laid…but probably not.
3. Celebrity Yogis – We squirm in the jealousy of their arm balances and we are skeptics about whether they are actually nice people. In their dressing rooms are they monkish ascetics or fabulous divas? And will they please just give us a hint at how to make it to the big leagues?
4. Health Fads — Woe to you who mentions your gluten free/raw/clean eating/juicing diet to your friends.
5. OM (both presence and absence of) — The quality of a class or teacher hangs in the balance of whether they chant to begin and/or end class. Some teachers have built their empires on whether or not they chant.
6. Expensive Yoga Clothes (ie: Lululemon) — A particular and puzzling ambivalence exists around the Lululemon brand and the yoga community. Everyone seems to agree that camel toe is a big problem. But just how big?
This list might be a little (ok, a lot) tongue in cheek.
But there is something I love about the balance of gentle critique that goes along with this practice of compassion and embrace.
I love all the writers who are bringing their intellect and experience to the page and sparking meaningful conversation, and the way that practitioners ask hard questions of their communities and teachers. Our connectedness on local and global levels means that we are rubbing shoulders and bumping asanas against people and ideas that really turn us on… and really turn us off.
If we can continue to burst open the conversation, instead of making it more insular, we will succeed in participating in a globalizing process that fosters connection instead of division. What could be better?