Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Yoga Bum Ruminations: An Addendum of sorts to my earlier Yoga Bum post

Yikes! I must really be a yoga bum (or at least a yoga bum wannabe) if I am actually posting for the second time today. But I just can't resist this, so bear with me.

About an hour ago, Yyogini wrote a post in response to my earlier post about being a yoga bum. Being a much more careful writer than I am, Yyogini went and looked up the dictionary definition of a bum, which is:
"person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer;idler."

My first reaction on seeing this definition was: Yikes! I certainly have no intention of wanting to be (or insinuating that anybody is) a loafer/idler who sponges on others. Well, perhaps "bum" wasn't such a good word choice on my part, to begin with. What I really meant was something like, "somebody who does not have to work (in the conventional capitalistic sense), but still gets all of his or her needs and wants taken care of." I really don't know what the appropriate word to describe such a person might be: Maybe something like "Yoga Dude" or "Yoga Dudette"?

In any case, some of you out there might still think that I am indulging in wishful thinking. Well, maybe... But think about this: If the United States government can shell out billions of dollars everyday without even blinking, just to send young people halfway across the world to kill and be killed (i.e. the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), what can be so wrong with paying one person a measly one hundred grand a year just to live in peace with his fellow human beings? Is this really that much to ask, in the bigger scheme of things?

It may also be worth pointing out that many senior Ashtanga teachers were probably labeled as wishful thinkers when they first started trying to teach and share yoga with others. A few years ago, at a workshop in Florida, David Williams shared about how he would teach yoga in a park, and had to pool money together from his students in order to pay for the plane ticket for Guruji's first trip to Encinitas. 

Gee, this is becoming a big preachy post, so I guess I'll sign off here. But before I do so, I should say a couple more things about where I got this idea of being a yoga bum/dude from. A few years ago, I read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I understand that Yogananda is a controversial figure in the spiritual community, and I honestly still don't know what to make of the many siddhis that he describes various yogis as having in the book. But in reading the book, I was really struck by his whole-hearted passion and conviction in the power of yoga, the belief that if one practices hard and sincerely enough, the universe will take care of one. Well, what's a hundred grand a year in the face of that kind of conviction? 



  1. hey, include me on the train, hao ma? there's nothing wrong in those goals