Donald Trump and Beginner Yogis

For better or worse I am a t.v. free dude. Not entirely by choice since I teach yoga most weeknights. I had an opportunity the other week to watch television at a friend’s place in Tofino. "Great idea," I thought. My inner-anthropologist is very curious about what it is that draws people in to television-land.

I ended up watching Donald Trump’s "The Apprentice" and I am still a little shocked. Mostly, about the values that this show and all of these "reality" shows that vote people out of the ‘in group’ for being unpopular or unworthy of some group standard.



As a yoga instructor, people tell me several times a day, "Yeah, I would love to come to yoga class, but my flexibility sucks." This comment has always struck me as bizarre. In a logical world being inflexible, stiff, tight or weak would be a perfect reason to come to yoga. Being too inflexible or out of shape to do yoga is like saying that you are too hungry to eat or too broke to start saving money.

I sit on many a mountain top in lotus position pondering the question, "Why in the world would people be so afraid to come do something that makes you feel better than almost any activity on earth?"

In Yoga and Ayurveda, everything one experiences is a type of food, either mentally or physically. What is being "fed" to us in shows like "The Apprentice" are values like "It is me against the world," "I am on being judged and on the verge of being fired at any time". We have developed a huge appetite for forms of entertainment that take delight in watching people fail.


Ultimately what needs to be rethought in our society is our relationship to competition. ‘Survival of the fittest’ is the driving force of Darwinism and the business world. Fair enough,

but you know that things have gotten out of hand when we are afraid to do something that is so freaking good for us like yoga because we think we will look foolish relative to others.

Competition and yoga are a bad mix. We will always have the seeds of competition in us. However, by it’s very design, yoga makes us move from a competitive mind set to a more accepting and compassionate one.
If our yoga practice involves comparing ourselves to others, we are going to have two results. One, we will get hurt or secondly, we will get so frustrated that we will never want to practice again. Your own inner Donald Trump will fire you from the Trump Towers of Yogi Fame.

By contrast, the idea of yoga is to transform competitive energy into compassionate energy. The first step for that is to practice a compassionate attitude towards our own selves. To listen to the internal dialogue that goes on in the yoga practice and silence that "itty bitty shitty committee" the practice becomes so fun. It is light and joyous. Then this starts to extend out into everything we do in life. It’s like there is a Trinidadian Calypso Band playing in the background for everything we do.

Thanks for coming and trying this beautiful, inspiring and fun practice of yoga. After a few classes things will get easier and more fluid. The initiation period where you feel lost and confused only lasts a few classes. Don’t give up. No one will vote you out of here. There are lots of other beginners in the same boat, possibly right beside you.
Incidentally, if you think you are weak, stiff or tight, I guarantee that you are nowhere as inflexible as I was many years ago when I started yoga. It did not come easily to me. I’ve had to be very non-competitive and accepting of my limitations through this yoga practice. In a strange way, this is yoga’s biggest gift to me.

Thanks for coming.

Eoin

Donald Trump World
Yogi Land

Only the strong survive
Let me help make you stronger, so life
becomes more than just survival for you
Dog Eat Dog

Do you need some help with your
downward dog?

You’re Fired

Let me light your Fire

Let’s get ready to rumble
Let’s get ready to humble

Nothing personal, just business
Your happiness is my business
Bad Hair
Bad Hair
 

In Yoga and Ayurveda, everything one experiences is a type of food, either mentally or physically. What is being "fed" to us in shows like "The Apprentice" are values like "It is me against the world," "I am on being judged and on the verge of being fired at any time". We have developed a huge appetite for forms of entertainment that take delight in watching people fail.