…And some are just rockstars. (some are just assholes, too, we imagine?)
Lately we’ve been surrounded by a growing bevy of yoga “rockstars” and asana poppers and flexi folk taking it to the next level! What does that even mean?
Well, ideally something different to you than it does for your nextmat neighbor. While stages, real and virtual, seem to be sprouting up like mold spores on a Bikram carpet, there’s a counterbalance to the physically proud and posturely prowess (not that that’s especially bad either, despite Stewart’s rants).
For instance, some who practice yoga, in the Ashtanga tradition (that’s the 8 limbs, not the style made popular by Madonna Pattabhi Jois), know it is a many-layered practice – besides asana, there are like 7 other limbs! While Samadhi may not be within immediate reach, the Niyamas (in short, how to treat yourself) and Yamas (how to treat others) are surely worth thinking about, or not thinking about, depending on which crazy hard asana you’re working on.
Yoga teacher and ex-Anusaran, Bernadette Birney, whose voice pierced the yogasphere when shit went down a few months back, had a few things to say about physical competition and yoga rockstars on her blog post “Being an Asana Rockstar Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You’re Not an Asshole.”
Fact: some of the biggest assholes I’ve ever met have had some of the most physically impressive practices I’ve ever seen.
(No offense intended to the physically proficient. Some of the loveliest people I know have advanced physical practices, too.)
I want to be really clear that I don’t object in the least to anyone caring about physical prowess more than I care. I am not suggesting that it is somehow superior–or more spiritual–not to care about physical mastery. What I object to is mistaking physical prowess for doing the work of determining what value it has for one’s self. I object to mistaking physical prowess for being a yogi–or even just a decent human being.
My burning interest in yoga lies in being a Nancy Drew of Consciousness. I yearn to sleuth out every crazy, beautiful, fucked-up part of myself–and of this crazy, beautiful, fucked-up world–and figure out what it’s good for. I came to yoga because I wanted tools. Now I have them, and I am passionate about sharing them. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
I don’t care enough about rocking my asana to make a greater–or lesser–investment of time or effort. I won’t be logging in the hours on my mat to take it the to the next level. Instead, I will be busily becoming the best consciousness super-sleuth that I can be.
We think that’s a great personal statement amidst all the extra focus on physical ability and stretchy bodies. It’s all about intention.
Yesterday we posted a video of somewhat controversial yoga teacher Meghan Currie in which she demonstrated a powerful and impressive, and yes physical practice, with the intention of sharing because we found it interesting and thought others might too. Some celebrated, and some stomped their feet calling for a revolution. Absolutely agreed, diversity is needed and should be welcome. Growth and transition are in the air.
But in this practice of sun and moon, yang and yin, can we not watch and admire someone else’s practice (including an amazing transformation) and still feel ok about our own? Can we not find the balance between physical yoga and the emotional and spiritual sides some of us may experience? Asana is still a limb, and it’s the first introduction many have to the practice.
Does it have to be you’re either a yoga hippie, a rockstar or an asshole? Or a hippie rockstar asshole?
We’re with Neal Pollack on this one.
note: these opinions are opinions, and opinions are like…well you know the rest. pardon the potty mouth.
- Watch This Man’s Crazy Inspiring Transformation After DDP Yoga (video)
- Dueling Egos: Yoga Hippie or Hipster? How About Both
- Diamond Dallas Page Now Prefers Putting Foot Over His Head To Up Someone’s Ass
- ‘Learning to Breathe’ Book Review + Interview with Priscilla Warner on Finding Relief from Anxiety
- Yoga, Business and Government: When Corporate Clashes with Grassroots
- Adventures in Yoga Teaching: At Your Service (Making a Living is Kick in the Yoga Pants)