Saturday, March 24, 2007

Zen and the Art of complete self-centeredness.


We here at Tannerball don't care for the new "Yoga culture", prominent around the 'ville, and here's why.
It all adds up to what a friend recently called the "hostile New Age takeover of yoga." "New Age" culture being those scented-candle shrines to self-worship, the love-oneself lit of The Secret, the "applied kinesiology"-type medical and metaphysical quackery used to support a vast array of alternative-this or alternative-that magical-thinking workshops and spa weekends. At its best, it's harmless mental self-massage. At its worst, it's the kind of thinking that blames cancer victims for their disease because they didn't "manifest" enough positive vibes.
One "manifestation" of this takeover is the shameless enlistment of yoga and elevated Eastern yogic philosophy for shamelessly material Western goals. Rather than an alternative, it's become an enabler. "Power yoga"! Yoga for success! Yoga for regime change! (Kidding.)

...

Thus, we get the classic Western women's magazine "relationship story" translated into Eastern yoga-speak. Indeed they give it prominent placement in the issue and subject their readers to the endless New Age clich├ęs of pablum-dispensing yoga-wisdom "experts" who further encourage the hapless writer not to move on but to dwell endlessly, excruciatingly, on the microanalysis of the situation.
Instead of counseling her just to leave the poor guy alone, they direct her to dwell on her need to forgive herself: Some "research associate" at Stanford tells her "when people can't forgive, their stress levels increase which can contribute to cardiovascular problems."

Read the whole thing -- it's funny because it's true. Via Ace of Spades.