Yesterday I had a conversation with J. Brown.
He asked how I was and I paused. I’m not sure he caught this. It was slight, so there’s no reason why he should have. Maybe I imagined it. Maybe there are always pauses, yawnings open, cliffs in the act of conversation.
I recently attended one of Yoga Alliance’s listening tour events. It was a small gathering, with sixteen or twenty people in the room. I nodded to one of my own students as I walked in and thought it interesting that she was there. She had brought another teacher with her, who later said our mutual student seemed to know more about Yoga Alliance than she did. I thought this was interesting, too; we yoga teachers, as a group, don’t tend to know what our wider group is up to.
A war is being waged on our blessed yoga pants. Once again, our stretchy bottoms are being attacked, but we must never surrender!* In case you missed it, an ill-fated op-ed was unleashed upon the yoga-practicing public Sunday daring to explain Why Yoga Pants Are Bad For Women. Excuse us? These yoga pants? *looks down [...]
The #metoo movement has roiled social media and the news cycles for months. Industry after industry has shuddered through a series of allegations that prove sexual abuse goes hand in hand with our current structures of power.
I’ve been quiet.
I’ve been angry. I’ve been upset. As a yoga teacher I’ve felt a need to set my agenda aside when it comes to wider social issues. As a woman I’ve felt a need to take care of my own boundaries.
Go to any major city in the United States, and you’ll see the signs: gleaming studios in trendy neighborhoods, mats peeking out of $200 leather tote bags on the metro, and Lululemon stores with motivational phrases splashed on their window displays. Yoga has been thoroughly commodified, and it’s everywhere.
“It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine,” says a song performed by the band R.E.M. Recently, America has been hit by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which collectively smashed substantial segments of Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Wildfires are still rampaging in California. The world we know is unraveling at a very rapid pace.
I don’t know a single woman who’s never been sexually harassed, or worse. “Me too,” of course. Duh.
It is a part of growing up female.
You learn to clench your jaw and walk faster and stare straight ahead and just get away as quickly as you can, before the cat-caller or the construction worker or the guy following you can catch up.
As many of you have undoubtedly heard, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used yogic alternate nostril breathing to help get over her electoral defeat. She’s been singing the praises of the ancient pranayama technique in her bestseller What Happened as well as on CNN.
The news is relentless. There is a sick taste in my mouth. I oscillate between avoiding news and bingeing on it. I oscillate between desperate, trembling activity and absolute apathy.