In the last couple of weeks there has been a slew of posts about the importance/role/influence/definition of yoga bloggers. Most of it frankly has not really inspired much thought on my part despite the fact that some of the writers are ones whose blogs I follow. But the recent build up and continued conversation about the upcoming Canadian yoga conference and the inclusion of a panel discussion about the importance of yoga bloggers has irked me. I wanted to sit back and let it all simmer out in cyberspace, but frankly I had to speak up about where I fit, or don’t into this conversation.
I started this blog, my third actually if you count my first now defunct one and my former book club (Namaste Book Club) one, to write about MY experiences with yoga. I currently also co-run a second site that is a blog for yoga teachers by yoga teachers. My goal was not to change the yoga world, to ruffle any feathers or to create chasms in canon of yogic practices with my musings. To be totally honest it was more a way for me to talk about yoga to someone other than my guy, the elves and my amazing crew of yoga friends where I live. I needed to get my thoughts off my chest! I wanted to write about what was happening on and off my mat, and really I did not care too much about what was happening on the yoga “stage” per se. Luckily through my blog I’ve gotten the chance to connect with a cyber sangha, have had readers who have been inspired and inspiring, learned from my new community and also had some serious doubters. The comments have flowed, slowed, and flowed again, most positive and some just not really that nice. I have shared them all (of course except those damn spammer ones) because that is what I consider blogging to be: free press and speaking your mind.
Have my posts rocked the yoga world? Some perhaps have stirred some heart and controversy and others have fizzled out like an open bottle of seltzer. I have blogged here and at several other bigger, more trafficked sites and always with the number one goal of sharing my opinions and not influencing yours. I love reading yoga blogs and several that have been not mentioned in the whole “yoga bloggers” hoopla are gems in the midst of this silliness. There are blogs that spark conversation by approaching yoga in fun and smart way, ones that deepen our knowledge of the practice and yet others that just invite you onto the mat of their writers. All are unique and wonderful just like the many different styles of yoga, and each offers something special I treasure.
As much as I admire many of the bloggers who are pushing for the importance of yoga bloggers in the world of yoga, I think it might be time for us collectively to take a step back and remember something: Just like Right Said Fred was nobody without Mick Jagger’s help (yep, he was his personal trainer), we are not yoga bloggers without the practice. To suggest that we are changing something that has existed for hundreds, even thousands of years DIFFERENTLY on each mat is really a bit too presumptuous for me.
Let’s face it, Fred himself was not too sexy but his story and connection to Mick sparked interest for brief and fleeting moment. Neither are we bloggers ever going to have the primal power to initiate cracks in yoga with our words, we are merely riding along the waves the practice has created for us. To suggest we have the power to do otherwise is really not addressing the vastness that yoga holds for each of us individually and internally.
We collectively need to take a big bit of our own advice and step away from our blogs and connect with our own breath for a few. I personally have used this discussion to remember why it is I blog, and to feel so thankful for my practice, my community, my students and my readers. My blog is my other yoga mat: it is supportive and grippy and some days I cannot bear to come to it. Without yoga however, I have no blog and merely a rectangular piece of rubber on which to stand.
Bloggers cannot change yoga, period. We can however change how we individually practice, share and connect about it. To assume more than that is well…. to make us all look about as hip and cool as Right Said Fred.