Plus Letters to Good Times
Yoga is a good thing.
And, over the the years, after sweating my Polish rump off in Bikram Yoga, I feel as if I’ve learned a few things about living, and living well, along the way—well, I hope that’s the case. But ask me on a Tuesday, when the paper is on deadline. It’s actually the best time for me to practice the essence of Yoga. (Or, in many cases, be reminded to—and I’m not sure what cosmic teacher taught me this, so forgive me—”get the hell out of my own way.”)
Truthfully, I propose that it’s what happens outside of the yoga room—and there are many “yoga” rooms other than a yoga room—that shows just how well an individual’s practice is working, or if they are working it. To me, life is like a series of yoga poses. Some of them are more challenging than others.
The only constant is your breath. The lesson? Remembering to “breathe”—and you can take that metaphorically, please—through each “pose.” Why am I telling you this? Recent events over the last few weeks have proven my theory correct.
Seeing life as a series of poses—one ends, another begins—came in handy last week when, as our website was being repeatedly hacked into (on articles of a sensitive nature), the lesson was to move through it with some grace. It also proved helpful after noticing some of the feedback we received during the last two weeks—first from an article about the closing of UC Santa Cruz’s rape education program; another on last week’s article about reports of inappropriate touching in yoga classes. Those two articles illuminate that there are many voices waiting to be heard, and issues worth exploring, in this community. And that’s what we are, after all—a community. We’re not in this alone. We’re doing this—whatever “this” is—together, whether we’re aware of that or not. I encourage locals to keep healthy dialogues going on the matters. Send your thoughts to [email protected]
In the meantime, should you happen to resonate with any of this, have a good—is that the right word?—time noticing the poses you are practicing during the next week. And don’t forget to laugh (when you can). Vital!
Thanks for reading. More soon …
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to Good Times Editor
Regarding “Yogis Behaving Badly” (GT 8/5) a confused woman who clearly does not understand the meaning of “idiot compassion” applied it in a rather unskillful and ignorant manner. As a Buddhist I have heard qualified teachers use the term “idiot compassion.” Here are a few examples of “idiot compassion.”
If you were in a room where someone was about to kill innocent people or murdered innocent people and you hid behind your usual vow of non-violence rather than protect the innocent and stop the murderer even if it means violence, that is idiot compassion. When the U.S. Congress knew W. Bush had lied about the Iraq war and did not impeach him as is required by the constitution, that was idiot compassion.
If an infant is playing in the middle of the road and a truck or car is bearing down and the infant does not respond to “Sweetie get out of the road.” To not be wrathful and yell “Get the hell out of the road. Now!” or something harsh that will save the child’s life because you don’t want to yell at the child and hurt their feelings—that is idiot compassion. If you were on a lifeboat and there was only fish to eat and you were a fanatical vegetarian and refused to eat the fish and died—that would be idiot compassion. I hope this clarifies what this term means.
Thanks for the article on “Yogis Behaving Badly.” It really got to the heart of an issue that seems like a serious “issue.” I’m not sure how many instructors here in Santa Cruz cross the lines. We seem to be a pretty decent community, overall, when it comes to Yoga. I have heard of several incidents happening and I encourage all women who experience such an invasion of space, or touch, to immediately walk out of class. I would also encourage those who have a serious beef with an instructor, or instructors, to make their concerns known.
Welcome The Intentions
Today’s world, media and society witness multitudes of rapid changes. Thus, to meet in Good Times, the unchanging Gil Stein perspective of “Israel can do no wrong: End of Subject” is both laughable and lamentable.
Israel’s future security, and ours, too, (according to our own generals) demands a just resolution ‘twixt Israelis and Palestineans. Therefore, all attempts at furthering education and clarification such as the planned Rev. Grishaw-Jones and Rabbi Marcus trip should not be derided, but rather welcomed and encouraged.
Best of The Online Comments
On ‘Yogis Behaving Badly’ …
My concern is not for rumors or the person who may, or may not, be doing this. My concern is for the victims. Clearly there are people who feel their boundaries have been compromised in a trusting and healing environment. Enough so to report it to the authorities.
Perhaps we should instead be discussing how to help the victims and rebuild the trust of this community. Santa Cruz has a beautiful and solid yoga network—we owe it to the residents and our practice to cause no harm, to be honest, and support those who feel abused to come forward. Let them know that we’re committed to rebuilding the community.
If there are, in fact, teachers who are crossing boundaries, then, yes, they do need to face the consequences once the facts are investigated by legal authorities— regardless of how many people can vouch for their credibility.
I am a Yoga instructor and spa owner and this article is the main reason I do not adjust students when teaching a class. I make sure to ask if the class has the pose and if it looks like they do not, then I describe it in more detail to them so they can move into the pose at their own pace.
When these things happen it gives the business a bad name and that is a big problem for those of us that do all we can to not violate others’ space.
I do hope the Santa Cruz teacher that is accused of doing this is not in practice any longer. I also hope that all that read this that go to Yoga class or get massages and feel like they are being violated will start to speak about it. Let’s keep Santa Cruz weird, but safe from this type of practice. Namaste.
On the Fashion Issue
I have had a wish list for about five years, and a leather jacket and nice leather boots have been number one on that list. I LOVED all jackets shoes and, oh my, the scarfs! Everything in this issue is what every little girl wants. Or, in my case, big girl. The fashions were so inspiring. Thank you Good Times!
— Zeyna A.