Wow! A day ago I posted my frustration with Yoga Journal here and on Elephant Journal. I knew that I would trigger some emotion, agreement and dissent from my words but had no idea I’d have close to 100 comments in a mere 24 hours! Clearly the subject has some legs. I am so humbled by the support for my position and my amazing friend Anna Guest-Jelley, and too I am thankful for the counter-positions that have shown me some new ways of looking at my argument. Conversation and discussion are so important and I am thrilled to be part of a truly important one. While I know that not everyone supports my point of view, and even some snide comments have resulted from my post at Elephant Journal, I am happy that I have sparked the flame of this discussion and plan to continue doing so. My pal, the wonderful Jennilyn, at YogaDork has joined the call suggesting that we all submit pictures to the talent search for Yoga Journal.
Anna G-J and I have been communicating about how best to address the Yoga Journal talent search contest and the Elephant Journal post gave us just the perfect idea. One of my favorite comments on Elephant Journal came from Kimberly Preston and in it she suggested that a bunch of us submit pictures of ourselves in Sukasana. So, we’ve decided we’re going to enter the contest, and we hope others will too. We are trying to get people who support our position to follow in our footsteps and in a way so brilliantly suggested by Kim Preston. We want to do a silent protest, after all we can bitch and moan all we want from our cozy homes but without any message to Yoga Journal our concerns are mute. Gandhi famously is quoted saying “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We are going to do just that: show Yoga Journal how we think they can change.
We plan to get as many yogis as possible to send in pictures of themselves in their comfortable seated position from behind. No faces, no shazam, just quiet repose and centering. Nearly every yoga class starts with a seated centering and we think this introspection and breath is what Yoga Journal should be promoting. At centering we are all equal, we are all breathing and we are all beginning the process of self inquiry. Usually our eyes are closed so the desire to compare ourselves to the yogis next to us is briefly silenced, and everyone finds a way to come on their mat that is their own. This image to us is yoga: self and community, breath and stillness, introspection and inquiry and peace. A seated peaceful protest to the shazam and perfection Yoga Journal has become for many of us.
I’ve sent in the Sukasana picture from yesterday’s post, but as it is my policy to never post the same picture twice, I’ve included here a different comfortable seated position one my elf took today. I wanted to remind everyone that they should send in a picture of THEIR comfortable seated position whatever that may be, complete with blocks and props or whatever works for you. After all we want to remind Yoga Journal what we think the practice is about to us. My friend Ashley took an amazing picture with her full back tattoo which I hope she’ll send in because despite the fact that many yoga teachers and students have ink, I can’t remember a yogi in the magazine having any.
Once Athleta and Yoga Journal have put my picture up I’ll share the link here and I hope you will do the same in the comments below. I want my love of the positive qualities of yoga to be shared by the biggest media source about the subject. If they can demonstrate that they are at least noticing the emotions behind this project then I’ll feel they are worthy of my continued subscription. I want to support them and the amazing people who they promote, I just want to make sure that they also find a way to show that yoga is for the masses, not the minority.
This my readers is our peaceful protest. I’m hoping it sparks the change that I want to see. If you feel like I do then by all means jump on our train, if not still submit a picture of yourself and let me know. I want to support my fellow yogis, I’m doing this for you! I promise to return to my reflective and even silly posts tomorrow, but for now I’m feeling that this message is very important.
Be yoga, be love, be the change. Viva la revolution!