Viniyoga (trademarked) and #MeToo

The more things change, the more they stay the same, huh?  Life in this here Modern Yoga World. I’m coming out of self-imposed writing exile to write about Kausthub Desikachar again.  The latest is that he trademarked the word “Viniyoga.”   Here is his justification for the trademark.   The word “viniyoga” is in the Yoga Sutra-s…

no more free lunch

“Emotional labor.” What does that mean to you? On her Facebook page in August Layla Saad said that a “complete stranger just PayPal-ed me a generous amount of money as a way of saying thank you for the emotional labor I put in to writing my open letter to spiritual white women. I’m in shock. And in…

Is your personal political? Yoga in the Age of Trump

In 2010 I wrote a post entitled “in review, the personal is still political.” My piece — STILL one of my most read posts thank you very much — was about the then and still hot topic of nudity in Yoga when Judith Lasater wrote to Yoga Journal about nakedness in Toesox ads.  Yawn if…

you say appropriated, I say bastardized, let’s call the whole thing off….

The other night I watched comedian George Lopez’s latest special The Wall.  I’ve always thought him hilarious.  And yeah, he picks on white people.  Sorry, this is a #whitetears free zone. A thought to add to the discussion about cultural appropriation in Yoga: Lopez raised the question that Mexican food culture has been “bastardized” by white…

morning rants

Good morning, yoga peeps!  No, I’m not going to say NAMASTE. Because OH MY GODDESS, GIVE ME STRENGTH TO DEAL WITH THIS MODERN YOGA WORLD. I just came back from one of my favorite places on Earth and I’m not talking about India.  The only reason I returned home was my cat Maggie, NOT because…

“WHITE LADIES FINDING THEMSELVES SISTERHOODS”

“I would like to imagine other options, other ways of being, other ways of understanding identities, other ways of being together, even as we come apart. Especially, in my world, where women gather. In sisterhoods — to explore spirituality, creativity, personal development. Our sisterhoods need to evolve. They’re so often a slurry of cultural appropriation,…

are you faking it ’til you make it?

Below is a question that was asked in a Facebook yoga group I belong to.  As a teacher who is persona non grata in my local “yoga community”, it was an important question.  My answer to the teacher’s question is below it. “I’m wondering how people experience and process professional jealousy. It seems to be…

who says yoga classes should be 90 minutes?

New York yoga teacher J. Brown raised an interesting question today in his blog post regarding the “Incredible Shrinking Yoga Class.” He writes, “In the last twenty years, yoga in the west has gone from a guru-driven model to a market-driven model. Decisions still often come from atop a pyramid. But now, the directives are…

children’s yoga

Overheard a long time ago: “People can learn to bend over and touch their toes (or rather, re-learn since they could do that as a child), and yet that isn’t necessarily yoga.” I read a story about a yoga student who thinks he is an “advanced” student because he can put his leg behind his…

“Stripping the Sacred” – Brenda Feuerstein

“Teach people, not poses.” — Gary Kraftsow (paraphrased) “Yoga contains asana, pranayama, meditation. Anything else is acrobatics.” (TKV Desikachar, from a long ago intensive in India) Many of you know Brenda Feuerstein.  She was married to eminent Yoga scholar, Georg Feuerstein (1947-2012) and they collaborated on a wealth of books and trainings in traditional Yoga….

do I need to be anointed to be credible?

  So much goes on in the Modern Yoga World (TM) now that it’s hard to keep up without it sounding like a constant rant.  Maybe I should just write about what actor or rock star does yoga, post a photo of them drinking a latte with a mat under their arm, and comment on…