People take it as a physical exercise, when it’s actually an amazing spiritual practice. But I don’t mind that some people just do it as a physical exercise, because in some ways I don’t believe that’s possible. You can’t leave your mind and soul at home like an American Express card. You’re integrated already and the more you realize that—and yoga helps you to—the more you understand who you are. You’re a lot more than just this body. ~ Rodney Yee
It all started with Gaia Repossi featured on two fashion magazines in regards to her yoga practice, when the discussion about Polga as the ultimate Olympic discipline was still hot between me and Roseanne at It’s all yoga, baby. Polga is amazing, and Stella McCartney is too. It surprised me to see that nobody made a point about how superficial it was to talk about Stella McCartney’s sports design.
I think I get a sort of pleasure out of behaving as if I were more superficial than I actually am in a world where the trend seems to be to look as deep as possible, so I am the last person that is qualified as a defender of traditional yoga. I am also the proud owner of a pink mat my best friend defined as “relaxing” (and, obviously, that’s sarcasm) so don’t get me wrong when I say the feeling left from Gaia Repossi’s “I like the spiritual side of yoga” was one of a certain scepticism.
I am aware that yoga IS a spiritual practice, and that is the main reason why it took Sadie Nardini to bring me to the mat. I’ve always seen yoga as something involving a degree of spiritual commitment that just didn’t resonate within me. Her rockstar approach is controversial to ahem everybody, but to me was “Oh, wait, that’s me”. I just couldn’t see myself going to India to live for a while with my guru. In a sense, traditional yoga scares me as Scientology does. I may be too much of a victim of the New Age prejudice, but there is something about traditional yoga as I’ve known it that makes me say “Stay there”. When people insist on the spiritual side of a discipline that considers the body something connected to the mind, it sounds like trying to look more “I got it right” (look at the comment here -nothing personal) and not “just another superficial newyorker (no matter where you live) trying to lose weight with Sadie Nardini” (I love that woman, advertising aside, if it wasn’t clear).
Earlier tonight I was reading about a sequence that may have helped with lowering the blood sugar levels after practice. Of course diabetes is a matter of spirituality, right? Yoga involves the body too, and has positive effects on the body too, get over it. I think I was born in the lotus position, as I actually sit like that and feel better wherever I sit, but I’m not that much into the positive thinking/guru culture/go to India thing that someone who gave birth to those stereotypes (and trust me, it’s more people into yoga than people out of it) will not fail to remind is original yoga. I am, instead, into the (up to now generally failed) attempt to accept the fact I have a body and it is as it is. I just would like to stick with my western fashionista desire for enough self-acceptance to be able to wear a lace suit without the perception that I’m considered just another ignorant victim of misconceptions raised by marketing strategies because I don’t claim I’m into the spiritual side of yoga. Because yoga is about unity between mind and body, so there is no aut aut. Now, can Stella McCartney please design the uniforms for the polga team at the Olympics 2020? Thanks.