June 20, 2014

WAWADIA update #7 /// Pain, Performance, and Politics in Yoga: a Conversation with Mike Hoolboom

I have developed a wariness around yoga that has kept me from the mat. I remember reading about Krishnamacharya, the great modernist yoga collage artist/teacher, who offered everyone their own practice. This series of poses would evolve (and continue to evolve) after watching the individual student, and working with them, and adjusting them. In other words, the practice of yoga was relational. Doesn’t this make sense? But perhaps there’s no time for that in studio culture. Perhaps everyone would go broke if it all came down to one on one.
June 15, 2014

WAWADIA update #6 /// “I Was Addicted to Practice”: A Senior Teacher Changes Her Path

Diane wasn't just practicing "addictively", as she says, in order to self-regulate. Her professional attainments and authority as a teacher depended upon that commitment, and upon her students seeing it in action. So regardless of whether her students practiced as hard as her (and many, including her daughter Kathryn, did), the rigour of Diane's practice was a community ideal. She was in the paradoxical position of performing an intensity that inspired others, including me, but was destroying her tissues. Not only did nobody see the pain that she herself was ignoring, the movements that were causing that pain were actually interpreted by others as beautiful or pleasurable, or both.
June 7, 2014

WAWADIA Update #4 /// Emerging Psychosocial Themes in Asana-Related Injuries

Ten days ago, Diane Bruni and I hosted a public event called “What Are We Actually Doing in Asana: an exploration of yoga-related injuries.” There were about seventy people in attendance, most of them yoga teachers. When Diane asked who had been injured through asana practice, virtually everyone raised their hands.