Sunday, June 27, 2010
A few weeks ago, I wrote some rather sharp comments stemming from a post with comments from the blog Eco Yogini. As I stated at that time, I thought the blog owner herself was a pretty dedicated practitioner, and that I was mostly focusing on others' comments to her post. So, what a delight it was to read her latest post about starting a free yoga in the park day as way to develop community around yoga practice. No fees. No pristine yoga studios. Just people practicing together, sharing their lives together.
Now, there have been some challenges. They've wanted to have teachers join them, but none have taken up the offer. And the few teachers that showed some interest felt that there should be payments made if they were going to come and offer anything that could be considered teaching.
Unlike the comments section from that previous post, the comments made on this one are informative and thought provoking. Even one writer, who disagreed with some of the post, makes some excellent points about the often real struggles yoga teachers have in terms of earning a decent living. I made some follow up comments after hers addressing what I see as the strong sense of privatization that is occurring with yoga - one of the main reasons why there is such a dearth of "yoga" community, especially when it comes to studios. People arrive for class five minutes before to five minutes after it starts, the teacher teaches the class, and then everyone runs out the door. Maybe a few people stay around to chat for five or ten minutes afterward, but that's about it. I've seen this at three different studios here in the Twin Cities, and I've read plenty of others writing similar stories, so I know it's not just going on here.
This is nothing like having relationships with people for years, where you've shared the best and worst of yourselves, and practiced diligently together like I have experienced in my Zen community. So, it's wonderful that Eco Yogini shared her story, and not only do I wish their group all the best, but I hope that others in other places will read our posts and start their own groups.
*Cat yoga photo from www.yogadork.com