Thursday, December 28, 2006

Yes, yes, everything and uh, speak for yourself

Through a variety of circuitous routes, I came across this entry from Jason's Leaping Lanka blog, and found myself not sure whether to laugh or to laugh again and even harder.

I do not know Jason, but sometimes it seems to me as if I do, having tussled with him on the EZBoard and having heard his praises sung by Encinitas ashtangis and others. Apparently Jason is every bit as clever and knowledgeable as his writing would indicate, plus he is a well-respected teacher and a practitioner whose strength, flexibility and focus inspire awe amongst those who would admit to watching.

From time to time, I check out the Leaping Lanka blog to see what is on Jason's mind. Recently, there was the oft-cited entry about ashtanga blogging and what Jason wishes we would blog about (farts, vaginal farts, sex, sex amongst shala mates, breakups amongst shala mates who used to be having sex, and I'm sorry but that is all I can remember at the moment). I wanted to comment. I wanted to say, "What about your blog? Why not start there?" But each time I typed it out, or something like it, I couldn't bring myself to hit "publish" because I knew that if I did, the joke would be on me. Or maybe it wouldn't. I couldn't tell.

See, I couldn't figure out if Jason was seriously envisioning himself as standing on the outside looking in on ashtanga blogging. To my mind, he seems to be too intelligent for that. He would have to know that he can't blog about blogging and not become his own subject matter. Wouldn't he?

And so, I left it alone. Until today, when I found myself reading the following questions, posed by Jason on December 2, 2006:


"Can ashtanga vinyasa yogis cop to looking at pictures of Britney Spears' vagina?"

"Can ashtanga vinyasa yogis admit to being more intrigued by Britney Spears' C-section scar than her vagina?"

What does Britney Spears' vagina have to do with yoga?

My eyes widened. Was this a direct hit...on me? On my own blog? On my decision to publicize my interest in Britney Spears's failure to wear panties? On my decision to veer so far off the topic at hand: yoga?

Who knew? But then I laughed. A big hearty laugh that made my older son, playing with his XBox, turn to me and demand to know "WHAT". What? What, indeed. An entire blog entry about blogging about Britney. You can't write about blogging about Britney without writing about Britney. You can't write about Britney without some interest in the topic. Some. I said "some". Not an all-encompassing obsession. But an awareness of popular culture. An awareness that even a focused yoga practice will not fully eliminate.

"Oh, if only we could live in a cave in the jungle, wear a loincloth, grow our hair and beards, practice the asanas, the pranayama, the meditation, chant the Gita and the Sutras, and know nothing of Britney Spears' vagina," Jason goes on to say.

If only?! Uh, not. I like my plush digs, I like to drape my body in flattering cuts of luxurious fabrics, I believe in good grooming, and I like to know which celebrities are engaging in which crass acts in order to get attention. I respect the desire to not be entirely of this world. But it is my particular desire to be of this world. And to practice yoga. To blend them as seamlessly as possible, like a finely emulsified balsamic vinaigrette.

But that's just me. And this is where I tell the tale.

Oh, and to answer the initial three questions posed above: yes, yes and if it is in my experience, then it goes into my yoga.

YC

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

hee hee, "like a finely emulsified balsamic vinaigrette." i just thought that was funny.

videonews said...

First on Technorati for "Britney Spears"... Congratulation !

Vanessa said...

So was I the only one that thought that he was sarcastic about the living in the cave bit?

"YC" said...

I assume there was something sarcastic in it, and something truthful too. Who can really know for sure?

samasthiti said...

Jason seems to be blending the spiritual, the sacred and the sincere...with the silly, the snarky and the shallow.

"YC" said...

I think he be doing quite the job of it too. He's on a whole nother level of snark-enlightenment.

samasthiti said...

I've told ya before..
I heart Jason.
But don't tell him, it might explode his ego.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think you are the only one who hearts jason, i think one of the girls in my class that he subs for me hearts him as well.
He really is on a different plane then some of us. He truly believes if you want it then you can make it happen.
Kiran

Tova said...

Chickie, i hope you find this as funny as i do...there is an "alternative" newspaper in portland oregon called the Portland Mercury, and their gossip columnist mentioned that her "hubby Kip" liked to refer to the vagina as a "vaheena". i don't know why that made me laugh so much, but it did.
about the leaping lanka. i know him not at all but the two posts you refer to make him seem like a complete ass. if he is not completely making fun of himself as well as making fun of the rest of us, then it would appear that he is being - shall we say- sanctimonious, but at the same time engaging in and perpetuating the very thing that he would claim to be too superior to be part of.
it is very hard as an outsider to tell which it is.

"YC" said...

Vaheena!!! Is that like the Spanish pronunciation?? "Vajayjay" kind of annoys me because it descends directly from Grey's Anatomy, which I hate to love, or love to hate, depending on my mood. But the laugh out loud funny V-reference of all times, in my opinion, is from 40 Year Old Virgin. When the title character meets a "recovering lesbian" named "Gina", he says, "Geena?" and she says, "Actually, JI-Na". I couldn't stop laughing.

suzie said...

JMS is an otherwordly yogi, all right, but I agree with Tova that he's a bit of a sanctimonious ass. I'll never forget the time he lectured me on ezboard when I ventured to say I did not follow a Hindu religious life. According to jms, that makes my life a Waste Land. Of course, maybe he was just being snarky or sarcastic. Who knows?

"YC" said...

Oooo!! Telling you your religious beliefs are essentially going to send you to hell! Wow. I missed that one. I think it's better that I did. I would have had something really not ironic and not snarky to say.

suzie said...

http://p196.ezboard.com/moon-days/fyoga84291frm3.showMessage?topicID=1108.topic

Here's the thread. See what you think. Perhaps I overreacted.

Vanessa said...

http://p196.ezboard.com/fyoga84291frm3.showMessage?topicID=1108.topic&index=8

He didn't say that not following Hindu beliefs would make your life a Waste Land.

He said that not caring about finding out the whys and hows of some yoga traditions would put you in the direction of the Waste Land.

My interpretation of it was that it is good to find out the reasons behind the things we do (ie how did moon day observance come to being?).

But hey I might be getting it wrong. My opinions are biased, as I personally know him and like him.

"YC" said...

Well, I checked out the post, and Suzie, I have to say that I don't think that JMS was pushing a Hindu agenda. I think he was encouraging the asking of questions as an alternative to adhering to traditions just because they are traditions.

It's an interesting statement on his part too, since I often see JMS as one who would adhere to yoga tradition for the sake of yoga tradition. Perhaps this statement of JMS's sheds new light on him - as one who has come to his conclusions through analysis and work. I kind of assumed all along that JMS was a physical natural at yoga and that it's "easy for him to say", when the system is such a good fit for him. Perhaps the physical good fit is really besides the point after all.

I have to say, and I think it's obvious from reading the EZ Board, that I often cringe (in my head and on the keyboard) at JMS's curt pronouncements, such as this one cited here. But I am guessing, based on how much people seem to like him personally, when they know him in person, rather than as an internet persona, that JMS is not as didactic and judgemental as his writing would lead people like you and me (who have never met him in real life) to believe. Again, I am just guessing. His writing often strikes me as sanctimonious and a bit "look, when you get to the level I am at, then you can tell me if I'm wrong". But I am not sure if that is what he really is about.

Anyway, this is far from the final word on the topic. It's just my reading of it.

And boy, can I just say, what a lightening rod for discussion Mr. JMS is!

"YC" said...

Well, I checked out the post, and Suzie, I have to say that I don't think that JMS was pushing a Hindu agenda. I think he was encouraging the asking of questions as an alternative to adhering to traditions just because they are traditions.

It's an interesting statement on his part too, since I often see JMS as one who would adhere to yoga tradition for the sake of yoga tradition. Perhaps this statement of JMS's sheds new light on him - as one who has come to his conclusions through analysis and work. I kind of assumed all along that JMS was a physical natural at yoga and that it's "easy for him to say", when the system is such a good fit for him. Perhaps the physical good fit is really besides the point after all.

I have to say, and I think it's obvious from reading the EZ Board, that I often cringe (in my head and on the keyboard) at JMS's curt pronouncements, such as this one cited here. But I am guessing, based on how much people seem to like him personally, when they know him in person, rather than as an internet persona, that JMS is not as didactic and judgemental as his writing would lead people like you and me (who have never met him in real life) to believe. Again, I am just guessing. His writing often strikes me as sanctimonious and a bit "look, when you get to the level I am at, then you can tell me if I'm wrong". But I am not sure if that is what he really is about.

Anyway, this is far from the final word on the topic. It's just my reading of it.

And boy, can I just say, what a lightening rod for discussion Mr. JMS is!

Tova said...

hey, i just need to clarify that i DON'T think that Jason is a sactimonious ass. i merely said he might come off as such, which is very different from saying that he is. i have never met him, or spoken to him, or even read enough of his blog to make any judgement about his character. i was commenting on the way his "voice" comes across to me via a few blog posts. that's all!

"YC" said...

Yes, the voice. The voice is a problem if it conveys something unintended, thus obscuring the message.

Vanessa said...

I don't think Jason was a natural.

"YC" said...

Well, hey now, that's inspiring!

suzie said...

Wow, 20 replies! Mr. JMS certainly is a magnet for discussion. Of course I've never met him either but know that people that I respect a great deal do think highly of him, so I will try to remember that in the future when his writing strikes me as judgmental or sanctimonious.

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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