The Internet = Vrtti

Oh yeah, like the internet really needs another opinion on yoga, or anything else for that matter. The immediacy in communication that the internet, or more specifically, social media, facilitates creates the climate for reactive, violent discourse. Even when some people care about a dead lion, they are castigated for not caring enough about other dead/dying/oppressed beings.

Most yoga writing that I come across is inflammatory. How to injure yourself in this or that pose. Why this or that method is bad/dangerous/great/not right for this or that body. But the truth is that many of these issues are already written about, and taught about, at length, by more informed people that don’t have time, or won’t allocate time, to the reactive morass that is internet discourse.

For instance, there are lots of ways to approach common issues like knee pain. Without seeing a student, how can blanket statements like ‘avoid bent knee poses’ or ‘don’t fully straighten the knee’ be true or even the least bit helpful? The secret is there is no secret, like any real discipline, and great practitioners and teachers are still constantly getting themselves into pickles and sorting it out.

So it might be a little bit of an unfortunate reality that, occasionally, one needs to say something about the subject. But we need to communicate somehow. I think there was more vital and intelligent discourse on yoga (and everything else) pre-internet. Now there is just more discourse. The same missteps in form repeating themselves, because there are so many ‘experts’. This alone is why many choose a ‘method’ or ‘lineage’. I don’t need to create my ‘own thing’, even though I am clearly finding my ‘own way’ through Iyengar Yoga. Yes, even with all my great teachers, I still feel ‘self-taught’ somehow. I hope that makes sense.

Yogascittavrittinirodaha – “Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of consciousness” (from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras). Of course, Iyengar related it to the body as well. He related it to everything, as far as I can tell. We don’t need more words, but sometimes we need a few. Maybe we need to start with a confused and reactive pose, and then ‘work’ to move the pose into stillness.

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