Tuesday, July 30, 2013

There are only twelve Ashtangi models; or, what Battlestar Galactica might teach us about Ashtanga

In a previous post, I set forth this theory that Kino and quite possibly all long-time Ashtanga practitioners are Cylons. More precisely, they (we?) are Cylon sleeper agents; they/we think they/we are human, but are in fact Cylons who have been placed here on Earth to fulfill a role in God's grand plan. A little background story here for those who are not initiated into Battlestar Galactica lore: Cylons believe in God, although there is some dispute among Battlestar Galactica fans as to whether the Cylon God is also the God of the human Judeo-Christian tradition.

But let us leave this academic dispute for another time. The reason why I have brought this Cylon-Ashtangi  theory up again is because some recent developments in the Ashtanga blogosphere seem to have provided further support for this theory. The ramifications of this theory are considerable. For one thing, if this theory is true, it would prove the critics of Ashtanga right: Ashtanga is really not for everybody. It's only for Cylons. Which makes a lot of sense, if you think about it: Critics often charge that you would have to either be a teenage boy or inhumanly strong or flexible (or inhumanly able to take a ridiculous amount of mental and physical punishment, six days a week) in order to do Ashtanga regularly. Well, if all regular Ashtangis are in fact Cylons (even if they don't know it), this would prove the critics right, because Ashtangis would then be quite literally not human.  And come to think of it, don't the behavior of teenage boys often make us wonder whether they come from another planet? Well, wonder no more...

But where's the evidence for this theory, you may ask? I'm getting there. Let's start from the beginning: In Battlestar Galactica, there are a total of twelve Cylon models. For most of the series (up to the end of season 3), only seven out of these twelve were revealed. Here are three of the models:

From left to right: Models six, three and eight. 
[Image taken from here]

The remaining five models (a.k.a. the Final Five) were only revealed at the end of season 3. A key reason for this revelation was that the Final Five had an important role in God's plan: They are supposed to show humans and Cylons the way to the promised land, i.e. Earth.

Okay, so what has any of this to do with Ashtanga? Well, earlier today, Erica over at Ecstatic Adventures of the Exuberant Bodhisattva alerted us to a very important fact: There are presently seven types of Ashtangis. As a result of recent events in the Ashtanga blogosphere, Erica's Mula Bandha exploded (I hope you're okay, Erica), and God revealed the seven Cylon models Ashtangi types to her in a dazzling vision. According to Erica/God, these seven types are:

1. Those who ask for oral sex postures and those who don't.
2. Those who kiss and tell talk and write about their practices, and those who don't.
3. Those who come to yoga able to do chaturanga, and those who come grabbing their ankles in backbends.
4. Those with bad knees, and those with bad backs.
5. Those who don't eat past four p.m. and those who grab slices of pizza on their way back from the bar.
6. Those who practice during their periods and those who use their moon time to gather their menstrual fluids and store them in the refrigerator amongst the peanut butter and the jam and the vegan mayonnaise.
7. Those who eat vegan mayonnaise and those who think that soy is the devil, but so are eggs, ("Yegs, very bad," as Guruji was once quoted), and well, maybe I have already mentioned food a couple too many times.

Erica also advises that regardless of which type you fall under (or do not fall under), there is only one thing to do: "Do whatever the fuck you want, reconsider every once and awhile, and then do whatever the fuck you want again."

This is actually very good advice, in light of what we have learned from Battlestar Galactica. If what your type is is already predetermined by God, what would be the use of fighting it and trying to be any different? You would just be imposing unnecessary suffering on yourself. Just surrender to your type, and in the words of a famous Cylon, "Do your practice, and all is coming."
   He's probably wearing those shades to hide those Cylon eyes.


But here's something else to think about: If Battlestar Galactica is correct, this would mean that there are five more Cylon/Ashtangi models that have yet to be revealed, and who will only be revealed to us when the time is ripe for us to go to the Ashtanga Promised Land (hmm... but what is the Ashtanga Promised Land?). I, of course, have not the slightest idea who the Final Five Ashtangis are. But I can always speculate: 
 She is quite possibly one of the Final Five.

But there's only so much speculation I can indulge in before I start pissing God off. So I'll stop here. Besides, it's getting close to that time of the day: Time for my nightly dose of Battlestar Galactica. More later.           


  1. Wow, this Battlestar Galactica thing is getting quite elaborate. It just occurred to me that there are actually 14 types of Ashtangis on my list. Vacation has not been kind. Or was it the mula bandha explosion? Alas. Well, thanks for the shout-out, despite my seemingly inability to count!Peace!

    1. I'm glad to know that you have survived your MB explosion! Although we still don't know if one can survive an MB explosion and still remain the same person... I guess time will tell, no? :-)

      Wait, why are there 14 types of Ashtangis now? Gosh, the number just keeps going up, doesn't it?

  2. Hilarious, as usual, Nobel! And I'm now going to have to read Erica's post as well. Take care.

  3. Awesome. The Galactica schema makes me think...

    Am I the only Enneagram junkie around here? The enneagram is an esoteric system of personality typing (with nine types) that has been passed down through oral tradition since maybe ancient Greece or something. Gurdjieff taught it extensively. Only in the past generation has it been put down in printed materials. There is a lot of emphasis in enneagram studies about understanding of what type one is emerging only through cycles of self study.

    Sound like a method you've heard of?

    Anyway, there is definitely a case to be made that there are nine ashtanga teacher types based on the Enneagram model.

    1. Very interesting. I don't know anything about Enneagram, although the name does sound vaguely familiar. But it is indeed fascinating. I will look into it. Any books you can recommend on this?

  4. From Fixation to Freedom, by Eli Jaxon-Bear
    The Enneagram audiobook by Sounds True, written and read by Helen Palmer.

    Meantime, speaking of spiritual repression, check this out... VERY interesting.


    1. Thanks. I'll look up these books.

      Just watched the Dawkins-Chopra interview. Very interesting indeed. What Chopra said about there being fundamentalists in both science and religion rings very true.