Tuesday09 Jan 09:15 AM
Rodney Yee. The Yoga Teacher Fantasy. And Sex
Leave it to New York Magazine to breath some new, fecund life into some old yoga dirt. But here it is.
Today, for some reason, perhaps providence, Google alerted me this standard muckplucking article.
It's worth noting not because it's newsworthy (it isn't), nor because it involves problematic yoga celebrity entertainers (whatever), nor because it involves sexual scandal (that's at least as old as yoga in the west). It's worth mentioning because it illustrates a fundamental flaw with yoga and yoga teachers these days: the teacher fantasy.
When one says that they are a yoga teacher these days, one invokes a problematic ideal that involves some dubious positioning; namely, that (whether or not they can twist like a pretzel) they are also a knowledgeable, "spiritual" guide.
It's not entirely their fault, many yoga scriptures —as sweet and wise and divine as they are— reel with an almost laughable (at least in their English translations), B-movie kung-fu, Grasshopper style. So the tradition is embedded with said authoritarian style. Admittedly, these texts are actually speaking from truth, as truth; which in our era is difficult to fathom.
Furthermore, who wants to study under (or hire) a yoga teacher that admits they're as much of a schmuck as the rest of us?
And this inherent positioning isn't merely job security, it's an illusion that we students are often too eager to invest in, promote and uphold.
Needless to say, even amidst today's burgeoning yoga world with its countless studios, yoga celebrities, yoga teachers, and students. Very few speak with any real knowledge. And of these, fewer still speak on loudspeakers, at conferences, on magazine covers, or even rant on blogs.
And sex further complicates the issue. What else to say? Students will relate to their students on a sexual level, for thousands of reasons. But frankly, the fantasy that we are Yogi Victor incarnate, doesn't help anyone.
Please be nice.