Why a f*ck you punk attitude to yoga and writing is no bad thing
First of all, I hope you don't think the asterisk in f*ck is a copout. It's probably a bit too early where you are for punk rock rudeness.
I was chatting away with a charming yoga teacher yesterday. We were talking about how we found our way into yoga. I said that I found all the nice, non-judgmental Rumi sweetness a bit too sweet at first. It went against my punk rock DNA, forged in the summer of 1977.
Much to my surprise, she agreed. She raised the middle digit of each hand in the air and shouted 'Me too, f*ck you yogis!'
She'd just invented the F*ck You Mudra.
I've spoken to a few people recently who've agreed with me that, faced with the ass fetishising, body bending, top of a mountain or on a palm tree beach, ludicrously expensive clothing yoga porn that clogs our social media, we should be saying F*ck you to the Yoga Industrial Complex.
But there's a problem with this.
The teachers and entrepreneurs building businesses within yoga I talk to all agree that yoga transcends the purely physical. What's happening to us inside, and how this is changing our worldview and lifestyle is what it's really all about. Having tight glutes, pecs, abs, whatever, is great but, you know: what happens next?
Yogawriters is exactly the same. Asana is essential to what I do. But the ultimate goal is to help enable an interior change and allow inspiration to flow.
But when we're building a personal brand (horrible term, but you know what I mean) we need to look like yoga works for us. If, like me, we're promoting a yoga practice that's about transforming consciousness, we still have to look at least a little bit interesting. Fortunately, I'm covered in tattoos and look like I've seen and done terrible things.
Not that I have, of course.
It's not enough to raise our fingers in the F*ck You Mudra if we carry on playing the game. In the immortal words of punk pioneers the MC5, we have to decide whether we're 'going to be the problem or the solution'.
We need to offer an alternative to the Yoga Industrial Complex. Which, of course, is made up of people like us who would all agree that yoga's really about personal transformation.
All of us who practice yoga know it's a powerful tool of personal change, whether we want this or not. We know offering yoga to people who can't afford expensive classes, gorgeous clothes or who need more than just a heart-shaped ass is what it should really all be about.
So how do we do this? By personal example, I suppose. By being as true to ourselves as we can ever be. By not allowing ourselves to be seduced by the temptations of the Yoga Industrial Complex.
But how do we really do that? F*ck knows. Do you?