On Wednesday morning, I planned to go to yoga class, which, for teachers, doesn’t happen as often as you might think because—wait for it—we’re always teaching, or our eyes, ears, and human interactions need a change of scenery from a studio. All this is to say that I’d carved out time to enjoy a yoga class for myself, and I was excited about it. Then, I never went.
Instead, I saw the controversial Rolling Stone cover and decided that my yoga practice would be as follows: feel a deep, undeniable sense of rage. Sit butt down. Write about it (as thoughtfully as I possibly could, which meant I’d still be angry enough to fantasize about breaking things and would say so). This display of strong negative emotion was a first on OG. But if awareness and authenticity are two hallmarks of yoga, then I was becoming fully aware of how authentically pissed I was. I finished the post and, instead of publishing, hesitated. I edited. I re-read. I finally got up the gumption, and it went live. I shared it via Twitter but not Facebook initially. One can hide more easily on Twitter, as it’s faster and noisier there. #RollingStone was already a trending topic, so plenty of other people were talking. I was worried how you, my readers, would feel having this place for yoga, wellness, and inspiration turn into something very different. I blatantly said I wanted to go bat shit crazy (and meant it).
Then, something happened: you liked it. You commented. You shared. Two of my most hardcore Buddhist friends were the quickest to say thank you, the precise types of people I most envisioned disappointing. And it hit me, as it always does, that the yoga world doesn’t need more manufactured rainbows and unicorns and niceties. It needs people to be real. It’s best served when we apply what we learn to life, practicing at a desk, as well as on a mat.
Last night, after a full day in which I went for a run in this oppressive heat, taught three classes (2 hot yoga), and commuted via bicycle, I laid on the couch trying to recover and cool off. I ate a Popsicle. (Fine, I ate two popsicles), and I checked my email.
I learned via a yoga student watching TV that my strongly worded tweet to Rolling Stone, along with my link to the post, had appeared on BBC World News. Just two voices from Boston were represented: the Dropkick Murphys and me. Woah… There was also a short interview with Mayor Menino who wrote a pointed and pitch-perfect letter to the music magazine recommending that it should have celebrated the true rock stars of the Boston Marathon bombing on its cover—the victims, survivors, first-responders, law enforcement and medical staff. Here’s the BBC clip.
So much for getting lost in the noise.
We all I have a voice, you see. You, me, Rolling Stone, the BBC, and the question is and forever will be how we use it. Thank you for giving me a place to use mine, even on the off chance that it advocates skipping yoga class and fantasizes about breaking things, and, more importantly, sharing yours.
Stay cool, OGs.