Something very nice happened in Kapotasana. Today was one of the rare days when my breath in Kapo was (relatively) long, even, and unhurried. It almost felt like I could pull a Kino, and actually talk in an even tone while in the posture (have you ever seen that video where she talks you through Kapo while doing Kapo herself? If you haven't, you can see it here.).
In any case, my breath felt so even and relatively relaxed that I ended up staying in Kapo for a few extra breaths, just to see how staying in it longer would feel like (not bad). I also noticed that my inhale was longer than my exhale, and tried to lengthen the exhale; but I also tried not to try too hard, because with something like the breath, if you try too hard to make it one way, you might end up creating strain in the body and the nervous system.
Some time ago (it may have been last week, but I cannot be sure), somebody (I can't remember who) wrote a blog post on the question of whether Ashtanga blogging has "jumped the shark." I was going to to go read and maybe comment on that post, but it got taken down before I could do either (did somebody with clout in the blogosphere get offended?). But like a shark that would not stop swimming (are you laughing yet?), this question has stayed in my mind ever since. So, at the risk of offending somebody myself (like I have never offended anybody...), I have decided to blog about it myself.
In any case, this is how Wikipedia defines "jumping the shark":
'In its initial usage, it referred to the point in a television program's history when the program had outlived its freshness and viewers had begun to feel that the show's writers were out of new ideas, often after great effort was made to revive interest in the show by the writers, producers, or network.
The usage of "jump the shark" has subsequently broadened beyond television, indicating the moment when a brand, design, or creative effort's evolution loses the essential qualities that initially defined its success and declines, ultimately, into irrelevance.'
Wikipedia also adds that this turning point usually occurs after a particular episode/installment/blog post where the show/magazine/blog's writers resort to some type of gimmick in order to try to keep viewers'/readers' interest (and fail).
Well, so much for pseudo-jumping-the-shark scholarship. The million dollar question here, of course, is: Has the Ashtanga blogosphere actually jumped the shark?
I'm not sure. I can only say a few obvious things here. I have recently found myself blogging less (say, once every few days, rather than everyday). There are a couple of things that can explain this reduced frequency in blogging: (1) While there is always news in the Ashtanga world to blog about (or at least report on), I don't find myself having much desire to do this (this is a blog, not a newspaper); (2) If I don't blog about things in the larger Ashtanga world (or the yoga world at large), I can always blog about my own practice. But while there is probably something I can say about my practice every single day, if I bother to sit down and think about it (like I just did in the earlier part of this post), I don't feel that it is necessary or even desirable to put my own practice under a microscope and dissect it for all the yoga world to see on a daily basis.
I could also, if I want to, turn this blog into a sort of space where I blog in general about all things "spiritual", whatever that means. But then it will probably become this toothless entity that talks about everything and nothing at the same time. And who wants that?
So I guess what I'm saying is this: If there is a connection between a reduced frequency in blogging and the quality of the blog itself (and by extension, to the quality of the blogosphere to which the blog belongs), then perhaps it is true that Ashtanga blogging has jumped the shark. By the way, I have also noticed that a few prominent Ashtanga bloggers have also seemed to reduce the frequency of their blogging. I'm not sure what their reasons are for this reduction, so I shall say no further. But I can at least have the dubious comfort of not being alone in my... plight (?).
But perhaps frequency has nothing at all to do with the matter at hand. Perhaps we are blogging less, but continuing to produce blog posts of high-quality ("Yoga in the Dragon's Den... a reliable producer of high-quality blog posts since 2010!" Cue catchy-sounding jingle.). Well, I don't know about that...
Before I stop ranting and let you go, I'll like to leave you with one more thought: Is Ashtanga blogging even supposed to be a creative endeavor in the first place? Although I like to think so in my more grandiose moments, in my more sober moments (which are not many), I have this nagging feeling that all Ashtanga blogging is is an informal extension of our practice: The Ashtanga blog is supposed to serve as a sort of honest mirror/journal of things that come up in the course of practice. People read the blog, comment/respond to it, and from there, the Ashtanga blogosphere is formed. Seen in this light, any creative activity is at most a byproduct of this honest reflection and journaling. And if Ashtanga blogging is not a creative endeavor, how can there be a shark to jump over?
Ah well... What do I know?