Yoga aphorisms and some other words
Teaching yoga is impossible; that is why it is difficult.
There are two kinds of people that I despise: yoga teachers and intellectuals. And I am both.
Getting so little recognition can, dangerously, turn a competent yoga teacher into a megalomaniac, and that is what happened to me. An incompetent yoga teacher is safe from that danger.
An experienced and wise practitioner (a yogin) does not interfere in his yoga practice.
In my yoga class, I and the yoga students understand each another perfectly. They don’t hear what I say and I do not say what they want to hear.
Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory, I’ve been told. But the 99% practice is 100% theory and 100% practice, I add.
“Repetition is the mother of skill.” Only as long as there’s skill in the repetition.
The whole idea is not to strive to “have” more energy, but to allow more energy to pass through me. What is energy? That is a stupid question.
Once, after a Hot Yoga class, a student asked me: “Why do we have 90-minute classes? Isn’t 90 minutes too long... In another studio they had 60-minute classes!” I said: “Oh, okay. Actually, I was planning for 120 minutes. Let’s make a deal: we’ll keep it at 90 minutes.” (This is a true story.)
When I’m demonstrating something in a yoga class, if I only want them to watch, I should stop speaking. If I want them to listen, I need to stop my body moving.
A person told me that participating in my yoga classes at the yoga studio helped him find a wife. That for me is one of my great successes. On the other hand, how easily I could have found myself in such an unfortunate situation.
The chief deficiency in today’s yoga is not the lack of good yoga teachers, but the lack of a practitioner public sufficiently large, informed, and through-yoga spiritually matured to establish the importance of a good teacher.
Yoga is given to the student by the teacher. The way yoga is given can reach the most hidden places and give space for an unexpected development. An unexpected development for the student, or the teacher, or both.
“Yoga therapy”: If there’s nothing wrong with someone, the best way of curing him of this state is to explain to him what ailment he has.
Yoga therapy today: prescriptions written by patients.
“Yoga for trauma and PTSD” teachers, those wounded healers, are akin to raincoat perverts. But instead of showing their genitalia, they flash their wounds.
In the modern yoga of the second half of the 20th century, there were no more creators, only representatives. Now, in the 21st century, there are only the representatives’ representatives.
A great yoga teacher today is like a well-stocked pharmacist, but there is no guarantee you won’t get cyanide for a common cold.
How to feel “at ease” as a teacher when teaching class? Learn to feel at ease as a person first.
The first step to teaching a yoga class at your best ability? Slow down.
Teaching techniques are used until the yoga instructor becomes a yoga teacher.
A yogin prefers noble wretchedness to wretched nobility.
All “online yoga” is what I call “electronic yoga”. Electronic yoga is the illness of which it believes itself to be the cure. (A reflection on the online Zoom seminar on using “yogic breathing and meditation techniques” as means of reducing Zoom-fatigue.)
The mission of electronic yoga teachers is to propagate yogic mystical experience to their viewers and simultaneously destroy all possibility for that experience to take place.
Electronic yoga is an intrusion into spiritual life.
The yoga teacher is an intrusion into an experienced practitioner’s practice.
How to sell the spectacle of electronic yoga to the mass audience? Learn the secret of the electronic “yoga teacher”: Appear as stupid and make the practice as stupid as the mass audience so that they will believe that they are as intelligent as the teacher is.
The yoga mat became mobile when a “yoga teacher” for the first time decided to film and post online a clip of her “yoga”.
The practitioner who participates in electronic yoga sessions loves herself and seeks a practice that is not boring. A solitary yogin doing yoga on his yoga mat doesn’t love himself, is bored with his practice, but never bores himself.
It’s a sad epoch that converts the mystical yogic experience into a commodity. The next epoch, even sadder, follows when that commodity is fetishized.
Distraction and ekāgratā are tied together like coal and a diamond.1
The sensuality of a woman who is on her fours on her yoga mat is the primary reason men join yoga classes today or watch electronic yoga on the internets. Are you a female electronic “yoga teacher” who wants to go from 100K views to 1M? Wear a swimsuit in your “yoga” YouTube and Tiktok videos.
The relationship between the so-called yoga teachers who propagate their “yoga for mental health” and their consuners is the same as the relationship between drug dealers and high-school junkies.
The purpose of “yoga for the fulfillment of your emotional needs” is to console an urban woman on her way to, or after having arrived at, menopause.
Any conversation of the “Lululemon Ambassador” with a stranger: Arguably, the irrefutable proof that female buttocks exist because of yoga pants.
“Flow yoga”: the beats flowing from a bluetooth speaker are everything, the dance-like movements of scantily dressed women are something, the principles of yogaāsana are nothing.
It is high time babies explained to their yoga-practitioner parents the mystery of the yogic experience.
A yogin’s suicide is committed in an excess of lucidity.
A practitioner who cannot be ugly is not a practitioner of proper hathayoga.
In yoga’s modern times, the sensuality of a woman practicing the downward-facing dog is the primary source in which men try to renew their spirituality. The sexual man says: Whatever, it is a woman. The erotic man says: Yes, despite the down-dog, it is a woman.
Teaching better public classes is about hypnotizing yourself into an unwavering conviction that you are superbly good at teaching. With that, you teach classes. When done, you un-hypnotize yourself and mentally—in the coldest way—you go over your performance. There will be many mistakes, many things to add and other things that need to be taken out. Hypnotize. Un-hypnotize. Learn this, and you will be boss.
Modern yoga should be, I say, the natural and necessary continuation of man’s spiritual growth, not the envelope of social justice manifestos.
The devil is an optimist if he thinks that he can make us, the modern teachers of yoga, more morally corrupt than we are.
As Sancho Panza follows Don Quixote, so do STDs trot on the heels of people who join yoga retreats.
The rights of yoga practitioners who are female are the duties of yoga instructors who are male.
In modern times, a “for women only” yoga circle is comprised of women from all walks of life who have one thing in common: their hatred of men. A “for men only” yoga circle doesn’t exist. And if it does, it comprises itself of men from all walks of life who have one thing in common: they’re all as gay as a lord. And that’s the end of it.
Having spent several weekends reading Karl Kraus, on Monday mornings I tried my humble hand at writing aphorisms of my own. May I ask Herr Kraus, please, to forgive me for paraphrasing several of his masterful gems to suit my need. My excuse is that I needed to hygienically air some grievances, accumulated over the twenty years of my yoga practice and teaching. (May the good Lord Ishvara grant me the way to safely retreat in Alaska or possibly Patagonia. While whatever remains of what is called yoga continues to go to hell in a basket.)
In any case, thanks for reading my stuff. I kiss you on the mouth.
26 April, AD 2022
Ekāgratā (Sanskrit: एकाग्रता, “one-pointedness”; Pali: ekaggatā) is the intentional pursuit of one mentally-experienced object, with close and undisturbed attention. A yoga teacher usually emphasizes regular practice (abhyasa) of meditation and self-imposed discipline (tapas) to acquire ekāgratā.