I've actively avoided reading a lot of the recent news articles and blog posts about the spate of controversies, both trumped-up and real, that have lately befallen the yoga industry. By actively I mean: people send me links to these and I refuse to read them. This is part of a self-awareness practice rooted in Sutra 2.16, which is usually translated along these lines: "The suffering which is yet to come may be avoided." Of all 196 this is probably the Sutra I think about most often. Are you getting the sense yet that, when it comes to yoga, I'm not exactly an unbiased outside observer?
In addition to being somewhat crazy—a shrink once diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder, which I thought was a bit of a stretch until I realized that, like everyone else, he just wanted to have sex with me—I am a yoga teacher. I don’t know what your idea of a yoga teacher is, but should you, recoiling in horror as you read along here, find yourself asking, "But how does someone like this become a yoga teacher?"—the short answer is that I gave a man with a beard and his hot wife $3,200 dollars. The long answer is… well, I’d like to say that it's because if I hadn’t [...]
While Virginia is now figuring out whether to regulate yoga studios, New York State's Education Department has just lifted the randomly-adopted practice of claiming the state must license yoga teacher training-they were threatening massive fines to studios that didn't register with the state. (Bills supporting the studios were introduced in the state Senate but the Education Dept. backed down before they made it to the floor.) Now absolutely anyone can say they are a yoga teacher trainer, and take thousands of dollars from young, bendy, unemployed people, and have them go out and injure others. Finally, the deregulation of an industry we can all get behind! So come over [...]
All I had to do in Albuquerque was rent a car and drive away from the place. I had asked the people at the rental car place for the smallest, cheapest car possible, and the attendant described my choices to me, stressing that one of them was bigger but got better gas mileage, and so I said, sure, that one is fine, why not. When he handed me the bill to sign, I discovered that the car he had led me to choose was in fact $150 more than the other one. "That," I said, pushing the list of charges back to him over the counter, "was so fucking lame." [...]
That New York Times Magazine's article on the dangers of yoga has made a lot of people mad. It didn’t really make me mad—I do too much yoga to get mad, though I do still sniff disdainfully—but I did want to address why many of the arguments in it are totally lame.
1. The Times' health coverage often gives way to local news-flavored hysteria. You can’t expect the Sort of People Who Tend to Read The Times to freak out about Amber Alerts and Child Molesters. The readership simply isn’t concerned with anything that has no direct effect on them, unless that thing is cool (design), epic in [...]
"I was at the yoga festival, doing a little bit of yoga, and I'm just seeing all these goddesses. It seems crazy, but I just felt like I was being blessed by their energy, even though it was unintentional." —Boulder yogadoody suspect Luke Chrisco explains the emotions that compel one to deliberately immerse oneself in a portable toilet full of doody at a Boulder yoga retreat. Now you know.
Great/hilarious news! The New York State Senate may actually save yoga studios from their current state of being harassed by the Education Department-which last month sent out a letter to all yoga schools, demanding that they become licensed. The hilarious part is the press release, that just went out from state Senator Eric T. Schneiderman's office. (He represents the Upper West Side, heh.) Anyway, haven't we all learned in the last two years that regulation is bad for markets? (KIDDING!)
"A picture caption on Monday with an article about a push for innovation in Taiwan described incorrectly the sitting position of Jonney Shih, chairman of Asustek Computer. While Mr. Shih did assume the yoga lotus pose during an interview, he was shown seated in a cross-legged position in the picture, not in the lotus pose."
Looking for a reason to avoid doing yoga other than the fact that the people who do it are stricken with some terrible disease where all they can talk about is how great yoga is and how terrific they feel and the sense of inner peace and blah blah blah namaste? Well, also it will mess you up. Mess you up bad. Just stay sedentary, we all wind up in the same place at the end.
Jami Attenberg: I have to preface this by saying I was 75% predisposed to like Eat, Pray, Love. I enjoyed the book version a great deal, I practice yoga and meditation and I love food porn in movies.
Jami: The other 25% was Julia Roberts.
Maura Johnston: Oh Julia.
Jami: She wearies me. She talks about her husband too much in interviews.
Maura: I like her, but I think 67% of my predisposition toward her is because of My Best Friend's Wedding.
Jami: She never ever has any girlfriends in any of her movies. She doesn't do well with women.
Jami: And yet she is America's sweetheart.