A link to this blog came through my Inbox this morning so I decided to pass it on since several of my YTT buddies have interest in treatment of veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma, as well as the power issues in the yoga classroom. The site has been around for 30 months so there is plenty to chew on.
Sexual Predators in the Yoga World | WarRetreat. Jillian and I feel obliged to mention this problem to veterans. Especially men and women who have suffered sexual trauma while in the military. We wonder if rape and sexual harassment go underreported in the yoga world. We wish someone would start keeping track. We understand, given the “celestial fog” many yoga teachers bask in, that reporting a popular person for inappropriate and abusive acts is beyond difficult. The last thing we want –is to ignore the issue, and send anyone blindly into a studio. Remember, you are your own guru.
Wow! One of my favorite yoga sites has just undergone a remodeling: The Magazine of Yoga has taken on a cleaner look, a more straight-forward organization and a splendid use of photos. I could never really understand what kind of site it was trying to be (but loved its content) because it shirked the standard chronological order that predominates on most sites and didn’t seem to fit any other mold. MoY also has undergone a reshuffle of its sections: Conversations get top play, for good reason, and a penchant for writerly kind of articles.
I must confess that over the past two months, I have not had time to dig into the MoY articles and interviews, which tend to be longer than most web articles, even running into two parts. I don’t have time at work to steal time for reading a long-ish article, and at home my time is occupied with other tasks. My parents’ deaths have really emptied my life of open, reflective space. I am lucky to squeeze in time for meditation.
My problem is that I’m running into more yoga sites that deserve more than a brief visit: Yoga Modern is enticing; Elephant Journal is just vibrating with life; I just discover YogAnonymous a few days ago; and Carol Horton/Books, actually a Facebook site, just knocks me back with its pace and depth (her longer pieces appear on Think Body Electric blog). I can barely find time to check my RSS feed, much less read everything on these sites. I don’t even think to go over to YogaJournal.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve wanted to give a big pointer to Carol Horton’s Think Body Electric, citing just one post, Yogis, Ascetic, and Fakirs: Fascinating historical images of India that I don’t pretend to understand, but I could mention any number of posts over the past year. In this particular entry, she runs through a number of photographs and drawings from India, and registers her own emotional reaction to these photos of “non-Western” practices. She has all the analytical skills of an academic, but never loses her personal (moral, ethical, whatever) compass. I was struck by the following comments:
In other words, all of the cultural referents that were hard-wired into me at an early age were Judeo-Christian. This is not good or bad; it just is. But it is significant.
I can work to understand Hinduism, traditional yogic austerities, or whatever. But it’s not encoded into my cultural DNA.
Even in today’s highly globalized, mulit-culti world, I still feel very conscious of being a Westerner.
I know where she’s coming from because I feel much the similar way, having been a multicultural journalist who came to yoga late in life.
Blogging is supposed to be about developing linkages and exploiting the width and depth of the Internet. I tend to write with a self-absorbed focus so I frequently fail to point outwards. Links are also a kind of wink to fellow travelers.
Another reason that I am including them here is that I may be decommissioning the blog roll, which has fallen out of favor in search engine optimization circles — and Google/Bing — because the same links are repeated on each page, thus are a kind of ballot-stuffing in the web popularity contest. In the blog roll’s place, I am beefing up the yoga bloggers page, which will contain all the old favorites, plus some new ones. I will also be featuring one blog at the top, explaining why I like it and why you should visit it.
I have to confess that I am growing fond of reading the Visions of Cody weblog [MLS: apparently Mitch Blum has disappeared his old yoga blog. Selected articles are now on his new site. ]. I come back several times a week, not just to read the current blog entry (two a week), but also to go back into his archive. He also brings out a weekly podcast that is a ironic commentary on the yoga scene and human foibles under the intense light of practicing Ashtanga yoga, as well as a sampling of his love of music. He’s frequently poking fun at himself, but can equally turn it on others. Because he’s light-hearted and ironic, he’s a welcome relief from my own deadpan seriousness. Maybe, I enjoy him because he’s a late comer to yoga and has a beard, like me. And then Cody drops an insight bomb:
” The challenge for us hatha yogis is to apply the faith in action that we readily demonstrate on the mat each and every morning into all aspect of our lives.” Five O’Clock Angel
The multiple-paragraph entry has several passages that I wanted to quote, but I had to single one out. This past week I’ve been thinking much the same thing. I show up for my classes, sometimes with resistance because they’ll push me to my edge and beyond, but at the end of class, I don’t feel fatigue (comes closer to bed time). I come out purified, shining, glowing with an energy that I did not know was there. And in small gestures, I try to apply the lessons from the mat to the rest of my life. My physical practice keeps me honest and true when what passes for my persona can take me off in misguided directions.
In her September 29 (2005) post called long strange journey [link broken cuz website in gone], YogaNerd signed off her yoga blog. She may still write about her yoga practice on her personal blog, washing the dishes, but not as the central focus of a blog. We’ve crossed entries over the past year and I always liked reading her blog for its honesty and delight in yoga.[MLS: Five years later, the blogger formerly known as YogaNerd is still writing away. That’s a great accomplishment. ]
The Breathing Project‘s Kaminoff already has substantial information on the blog, includingi Interview with T.K.V. Desikachar conducted by Leslie Kaminoff in Madras, October, 1992.. Desikachar is Kaminoff’s teacher (guru?).
Kaminoff’s e-mail list has always had fascinating contributions from many big — and not so big — names in yoga since 1999. He is reposting a lot of material from then so the blog will be an intriguing online resource on yoga.
He will also be starting a site on yoga anatomy since he is writing a book on the topic.
“Yogalila is a a group of yoginis ranging in age from 26 to 60 and spanning the globe from Israel to North America to Hawaii. This blog will be a compendium of our yoga wisdom and experiences.” I’m impressed what what I’ve been reading on their postings. Plus, they link to my blog so I should really give this blog some notice here. I liked the collection of links scattered through the entries. They showed a lot of digging was being done. Nice use of photography, though I would recommend that the thumbnails in the entries expand to larger format photos in the pop-ups. I will also add Yogalila to my Blog section in Gateway. One day I will actual do a blogroll on this page.
I’ve seen lots of attempt to explain the Sun Salutation on this web, but this one is one of the better ones without going into full animation. It’s brought to you by Samadhi Yoga, out of Seattle, Washington. Also check out their online journal, Jai / Flame even though it’s five years old. Just random stuff that I run across surfing instead of doing my home practice. [MLS: some useful stuff disappears from the web. Sorry, folks.]
My daughter, Stephanie, has her own, brand spanking new blog, MediaChola — which means halfbreed in Peruvian Spanish (By the way, my son calls himself Semicaucasian, so they’re both thinking in the same mode.). Right now she’s mostly outraged at the Bush inauguration plans as an arrogant waste of money.