July 11, 2011

8 Reasons Why I Blog About Yoga

Carol Horton wrote a fascinating article recently: ‘Why Yoga Blogging Matters’ posing the question: Why do you blog? She calls yoga and blogging: “yogging”. I get it. We blog, we yoga. We are yogging.

These are my 8 reasons:

1.- Community.  I have created some pretty solid friendships over the years by blogging and I meet new people because of it, all the time.  Besides, when I practice at home I know of others who are also practicing and suddenly do not feel so lonely on the mat, least James joins me. Aaaannnddd there was that one time in which we, ashtangis, were all together doing primary series when Sharath streamed the live led class. That was cyber yoga fun at its best.


Aren’t we colorful?

  2.-It brings us back to the old times. I hear from yoga scholars that in the past yoga had different and very distinct schools in India (just like today), and that people from one school would debate and challenge the yogis from the other schools. I believe the Internet has done exactly the same thing for yoga, only it has not even started yet.

We have our Iyengar blogs (OK  maybe not your Iyengar’s just yet, a google search returns some blogs which are a bit scattered and not so solid).  But then we have our Ashtanga and our Vinyasa Krama blogs.  Wonder where the other styles are at, may have to do some more googling.

And although sometimes the different schools merge due to brilliant blogs that join the techniques (see this one for example), the conversations are still ijust getting started.  At least when it comes to different schools presenting different ideas.  I believe that by talking to each other, as we learn to do it respectfully -which is key for learning- we all benefit by appreciating the subtleties of how others learn.

In the Krishnamacharya tradition we have no shortage of conversations and if well-directed we all grow from going back to the old days and discussing out in the open what we are learning, and what works for us.

3.- It keeps me real.  There was one time…I don’t remember now, or maybe I don’t want to remember, where I may have said something that was just not right, missing the mark.  I had comments that directed me to seeing things in a brighter light.  I learned. Thank you.

4.- It helps me work those other branches of yoga. Let me tell you, one thing about writing a blog is that sometimes comments and/or discussions can get a bit, well, ‘excited’. And learning to keep to truth, non-violence and ‘to the point’ without engaging with whatever may come is an exercise in yoga. Very much so.  I feel lucky to have a readership that mostly offers encouraging and value-adding comments.  Touching wood right now.

‘Touching wood’ is a South American expression for keeping things that are good coming our way.  We usually say it as we touch real wood, or our heads, for fun.  James tells me in North America you guys ‘knock on wood’.  The head joke still holds. Right now I am touching some real wood.

5.- I get specific tips. This is a major benefit of ‘yoging’.  There are lots of advanced practitioners out there who not only read and share but are willing to give advise!, I mean, how lucky are we?  I have gotten tips for my back-bends with such detail, sincerity, heck even love, that I may or may not be writing a book about it.

Take for example the day that I asked the question about “nutation”. I specifically wanted to learn what that meant in “English” if you know what I mean, as in plain layman’s terms, and I had none but David Keil himself answer the question!

Or how David Garrigues or Kino Mac Gregor are all too eager to help and answer questions online by blog, sometimes with videos and all.  A blessing.

6.- Exercises the mental muscles. Thinking about yoga and writing about it are two different things.  Putting thoughts in writing requires organizing things, which is a whole new skill.  This in turn not only exercises the mind, but, say for example, after a workshop with Ramaswami I get to organize what I learned, go deeper into the teachings, keep talking about it, and learn some more.

7.- Is what I do.  I started writing in journals when I was 9 and bloomed into it when I learned about morning pages.  Writing has always helped me find myself, get out of my own way, and find what is real for me. If there were no blogs I would still write. I just do it. On top of that, add the fact that I love talking about yoga and there you have it: yoging all around!

8.- It is a practice. I did not think I had an eight reason and it turns out I do.  This is news even to me. I find that writing about yoga has become a ‘practice’. Something I look forward to. A space for learning and growing, a quiet time for reflection, and a way to summarize and share the scenery I see as I walk down the road all the way into the center of the rabbit hole.

Why do you blog?

Carol will be attending the Toronto Yoga Conference in August and she will be in the panel that will talk about this.  Feel free to share with her (or in the comments here) the reasons why you blog. I will put the link to this in her post so she can see.

May we all benefit from our modern tantric times!
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