July 12, 2015

Kino’s Hip: Reflections on Extreme Practice and Injury in Asana

The circular argument that MacGregor transparently makes is so hard to understand, it seems to validate the adage that yoga cannot be conceptualized. Pain is described as a necessary spiritual tool in a practice that claims to heal the body and ego and free the person from all limitation. But if you have too much pain, or the wrong kind, you’re courting injury. No-one wants that. Or do they? If too much pain does injure the yogi, the bright side is that renewed focus upon bodily healing may hurt the ego as it contemplates its new limitations. This is ultimately good news, because, as MacGregor says, “the real yoga is the burning up of the ego”.
March 17, 2015

Spiritualized Narcissism as Trauma Response: A Review of – and Meditation on – A Death on Diamond Mountain by Scott Carney

I totally identify with writers who both genre-jam and immerse themselves so completely in their task that their objectivity is stretched to the breaking point. But Carney must know that Roach doesn’t have magical powers, because no-one does. The monks at Sera Me can’t protect him with mantras any more than they can resurrect Ian Thorson with Tibetan sculptures made of butter. The only magic at play here is the mystery of intergenerational trauma. So I hope this book provides a solid foundation for an extended study of the deep-seated psychological abuse that spins its ochre shame and crimson guilt into seductive religious costumery.
March 5, 2015

Five Easy Ways to Derail a Conversation About Yoga Safety (King and Queen Followup #1)

It would seem that for the foreseeable future, talking about physical safety in yoga may remain as contentious as talking about the role of the state in regulating religious freedom. I’ll bet that the yoga of good conversation will help.