Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A little neither-here-nor-there yoga story

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Okin Carmegorg. She lived in a big city where she went to school. She worked out regularly at a gym. At the gym, she learnt about these classes they were offering called yoga classes. She had no prior experience with this thing called yoga, but she found the sight of people standing on their heads fascinating. So Okin decided to sign up for yoga. After a few classes, she decided that she liked yoga, so she started taking classes at a yoga studio.

The studio she went to specialized in this particular style of yoga called Gatashan yoga. Now, Gatashan is a very physically rigorous and demanding form of yoga involving a set sequence of postures linked together by a very specific number of breaths. Now Okin was somewhat flexible, but she wasn't particularly physically strong. As a result, she really struggled with the postures that required her to balance her body weight on her arms. Indeed, a few of her (male) teachers actually told her that she would never be able to stand on her arms in this lifetime.

Nevertheless, Okin was undaunted, and kept working on her practice. She also went to India, the birthplace of Gatashan yoga, and studied with the Guru of this tradition. After a few years, the Guru authorized her to teach this system. After another few years, she became a certified teacher.

Wanting to bring this yoga to more people, she opened a studio in this place called Imami Beach. Many people took up the practice, and experienced many physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. And then she realized that she would be able to reach out to more people--people who otherwise wouldn't be able to meet or practice with her regularly--if she made instructional videos that were easily available online on YouTube. In an attempt to reach tweens and other individuals of the non-yoga crowd, she also made this video called "Yoga Girls of Imami Beach." That video wasn't so well-received, but she didn't let that bother her, and instead went on to make more instructional and practice videos. And many people (including the author of this neither-here-nor-there story) benefited from the clear instruction in these videos.

Meanwhile, there existed a group of individuals called bloggers. There are many ways to describe bloggers, but it probably wouldn't be too much of an exaggeration to say that bloggers are basically individuals whose minds are so active and chattering that they couldn't keep the contents of their chattering minds to themselves. So what do they do? Well, they blog! Needless to say, the exploits of Okin Carmegorg did not escape the attention of these bloggers with their ceaselessly chattering minds. These bloggers formed many differing and conflicting opinions about the actions of Okin, especially the "Yoga Girls of Imami Beach" video. Some bloggers also formed this curious habit of fixating on the fact that Okin has this curious habit of teaching and practicing in short shorts and tube tops. (Which is more curious, teaching and practicing in short shorts and tube tops, or fixating on teaching and practicing in short shorts and tube tops? Well, this is a hard one...) In any case, the bloggers formed many diverse and conflicting views on Okin's actions. Some thought that she was a good teacher whose actions and intentions were misunderstood. Some thought that she was a good teacher who had sold out and commercialized herself and the tradition which she purported to represent. Some thought she had a super-big ego, which was, of course, a very unyogic thing to have in yogic circles. Yet others were undecided.

In the meantime, Okin continued to do her thing, bloggers continued to blog their blogs, waves continued to rise and fall in the oceans, and the sun and the planets continued to move in their assigned orbits.

Isn't this a very silly neither-here-nor-there story? :-)     


  1. Whew! Not everyone has to love you. Happy people know that. :-D

  2. I hope you take this in the spirit that I intend (i.e. a random muse) but this post really reminds me of this site:

    I'd be interested to hear Kino's take on some of the things that are thrown at her, but of course she can't win. Better to respond and explain herself, or better to 'rise above' it?

    Once someone is in the public eye - has actively chosen to put themselves in the public eye - we're all free to talk about her. How we chose to talk/write about her is up to our own consciences, I guess. It's also not a writer's fault (not thinking of anyone in particular here, other than myself and the way I censor my usual online persona when writing blogs and comments) if his/her style is misinterpreted as being more negative/abrasive/insulting/whatever than intended.

  3. Yes, sereneflavor, that is true :-)

    Interesting website, Ragdoll :-)

    "I'd be interested to hear Kino's take on some of the things that are thrown at her, but of course she can't win. Better to respond and explain herself, or better to 'rise above' it?"

    Judging from what she has been doing, I think that she has chosen the latter course; after all, in the final analysis, one's actions speak the loudest, don't they?

    "It's also not a writer's fault... if his/her style is misinterpreted as being more negative/abrasive/insulting/whatever than intended."

    I suppose there is some truth to this, but I still find it hard to imagine that some of the people who have written on this topic thus far can fail to see that their writings are really little more than thinly-veiled personal attacks. It's also especially significant that many of these writers tend to back-pedal ("I'm not saying she's a bad person, I just disagree with her teaching/self-promotional style") when called out. Does this not suggest that they have some awareness that what they are writing is in fact negative/abrasive/insulting/whatever?

    I really don't know, one way or the other. I'm just wondering aloud.

  4. Very silly story indeed! Love it. Very funny...and a good way to put it all in perspective.
    When a blogger (or anyone for that matter) obsesses over and judges another person's "egomaniacal" behavior, this says way more about how hung up the blogger is about his/her OWN ego than about the person (Okin in this case) who s/he is actually ranting about!

  5. Very well said, Frances. It may well be that the things we say and rant about others have more to do with ourselves than with the person about whom we are ranting.