I am at a yoga festival with 1000’s of yogis from across the US of A. We are all gathered here to practice, to play, to work hard together and I find myself sitting all by myself feeling like shit.
I have to admit I did go into this experience preparing to hate the festival in a height I have never touched before. This is the kind of place where white people gather to affirm each other’s privilege and their butts and my job is to be their teacher assistant in that process. As I am naturally a cynical person you may ask: Why Emelia, would you go to such a thing you were preparing to dislike so much? Good question.
The first class I was involved in has over 300 people squished in it. The teacher has huge hair. The girls behind me are talking about how their dream is to be “yoga rock stars” just like her. Right away, my little inner asshole comes creeping out of my butt and gets ready to pounce.
This big haired teacher talks to us about how we are all one. How we are all connected and how our disconnected feelings come from the outside of ourselves. She talks about how our natural state is to be in union with each other and it makes me want to cry a bit because that sounds like such a good idea.
I leave the class and walk past all the 100’s of vendors hawking their yoga food and funky clothes and spiritual bracelets guaranteed to bring you into balance and I feel even more sad and lonely than before.
“Don’t you young kids have more important things to do with your time than sculpt your gluts?” This is not real yoga! In my day…” I shake my head at the tight little asses prancing around like ponies.
I head to the teacher's lounge to have a rest.
All around me are other teacher’s podcasting, live blogging, giving interviews. Their voices are loud. The energy is high. It is almost like they are out positive-ing each other. It gets me really stressed out because I’m not podcasting or blogging or feeling very positive.
I cannot be here now with any of these people because they are all too busy selling their sacred and revolutionary brand. I am ashamed about what I am doing with my life. I am a real failure amidst all these spiritual entrepreneurs. I think “God I am such a nobody loser.”
Which is such an ironic thing to feel at a yoga festival because aren’t we all supposed to be all one?
I feel bad. As in. I am a bad person.
All of me is not allowed to be here.
I have to ignore the part of me that questions these people when they talk about loss of ego and then hard-sell their yoga DVD’s.
I push away the part of me that gets annoyed when I hear words like manifestation and co-creation but I see it relating to manifesting their own personal wealth and fame.
I get pissed when someone is talking to me and then sees someone who is more important to talk to so walks away mid…
Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely jealously speaking.
I would love to be extremely successful and rich from what I do too, I just get super confused when I am told to let it flow and relax into my destiny and then I see teachers around me giving themselves hemmies from career pushing effort.
I am also scared of phrases like if you think it, it will come. Really? Because I think about a lot of dark shit so that does not bode well for my future.
And all of you who seem to be able to stay on top of your fear and shame and self doubt - are you better than me? Because sometimes you act like you are better than me. How did you get better than me? What yoga DVD did you buy?
There is elitism in the yoga community that I have not encountered anywhere else in my life. There is a hierarchy and if you are a rule breaker in any way, or a swearer or a smoker or chubby or poor you might find yourself on the outside looking in.
Which is hilarious.
I wonder how many other people at this event of 1000’s feel like shit?
I wonder how many other people want to sneak into the bushes and eat a hamburger?
When told to breathe into their hearts and feel the love surrounding them, how many other people are thinking to themselves - I can’t feel a thing?
“No it’s not,” says my cool friend. “The world is full of negativity and of course you get sucked into it, of course you engage. You are a microcosm of the macrocosm and your job is to decide if you are going to breed more of the hate or not. Don’t be your mind’s bitch Emelia. You cannot control your thoughts but you can control what you do with them.”
So in the afternoon I start to rebel.
I run around and punch a few random people in the arm. It feels great. I do a couple donkey kicks around the sacred space. I put on my big bling dollar sign necklace that I use when I need a big up.
I fart in class and then laugh.
I tell a woman that her handstand FUCKING rules in my outside voice.
I let the part of myself that feels so tiny here be a bit more free.
It is true that the emperor has no clothes on at this yoga festival. He is in down dog showing us his hairy balls and it is easy to point and laugh but that is what you always do Emelia. You are fighting the wrong battle here.
It’s not the yoga assholes that I hate; it's the thoughts I have about the yoga assholes that I hate.
So I want to invite you all to my new yoga festival. The prerequisites are high.
There is no need for you to like yoga.
Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.
Let it all hang out.
Cuddle into a little ball, suck on your $9 komboucha and know that the darkness you feel every day is a natural thing.
And if you see someone who has got bullshit sparkles shooting out of their butt spank it! That is totally allowed too.
I love you.
I make it to the end of the day. I am assisting a Thai yoga class and my teachers asked everyone to get into pairs, face each other, put our hands on each others hearts and look directly into each others eyes. Then we are told to breathe together.
This is highly uncomfortable. This is bordering on impossible… because I work very hard at staying on top of my fear and shame and self doubt. I look at this stranger in front of me and I think, am I better than you? Because sometimes I act like I am better than you. How did I get better than you? What DVD did I buy?
I look the strange woman right in the eyes and I feel it. Just for a moment. The oneness they have all been talking about. And it is real. And it is easy. And my heart opens. And it feels so good.
I start to cry a bit because this oneness is such a great idea.
Someone should trademark it. They would make billions.
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