Intro to Postmodern Yoga

and the jOURNEY is an evocation of three things in particular: a landscape that is incomparable, a time that is gone forever, and a human spirit, which endures.

-N Scott Momaday

 

Yoga is now postmodern. The modernist yoga movement evolved from westerners studying with gurus from the east, and sought to break from the strictness of classical forms of yoga.

The creation of unique western yoga systems, proliferation of books, and synthesis with other ideas/philosophies created the modernist yoga movement.

However, in the last decade Yoga transcended out of modern and into the postmodern. We now engage in new language games, image games and amend formal interpretations of classical yoga through language and thought.

We are the maker of yoga, not a mirror of classical yoga any longer. The postmodern yogis are not breaking from yoga though. We are after modernism, but not transcended from modernist yoga.

The next step forward will be a total obliteration of all norms, the language, perception and connections of all yoga up till this point. A new superior construction that produces a whole new system from the ground up, that draws from all information to form synthesis.

We are still in postmodernism. The transformation of yoga will occur in understanding, studying and deconstructing classical yoga until nothing is left.

Social Media and Postmodernism

On a superficial level, social media is eclipsing the norms set by classical yoga, however, it still functions within the guise of classical yoga. Institution values, representationalism and the politics of the yoga world rule the social media sphere.

Yoga in scenic places, nude yoga, yoga in trendy innovative outfits, and arm balance crazes. We see a form of narrative repair through yogis Instagram posts about trauma, emotions, and daily moods. All very postmodern.

On first glance, social media create a lot of potential to transcend past postmodernism. The structure of social media however reverberates and rehashes old norms and popular trends that grew outside of yoga.

Yogis are challenging old institutional values, however, in dong so most create new institutional values inside the dichotomy of the old. We fall into opposites, differences and polarities of old ideas, and manifest similar institutional structures with a different outside appearances.

“This is the postmodern desert inhabited by people who are, in effect, consuming themselves in the form of images and abstractions through which their desires, sense of identity, and memories are replicated and then sold back to them as products”
― Larry McCaffrey

Like a repressed and sheltered child we seek freedom. Yoga will stay stuck until we move past the old and exist in the moment, with decisions free of influence.

Hyypereality of Yoga

A standard hides inside our minds, one that kills creativity, progress and happiness and keeps us in modernism and postmodernism.

We are entering a hyper-reality of sorts with yoga images, dvds, schools of thought and techniques. Hyperreality is when real and fiction blend together, and we lose focus on reality and truth.

All of us possess a unique path on yoga, and with so much information we lose our way. Tens of millions of Instagram photos to compare yourself with, all yoga teacher trainings you never did, hundreds of books you never read, enlightenment you will never experience unless you do x,y and z and study with so and so.

Bullshit! 

Each of us is perfect. Enlightenment is attainable for all with very little help,  and no certificate, guru, and level of flexibility can activate your soul.

With an activated soul and will anything is possible.

Lets walk together into a new reality of yoga, away from all the problems and baggage from the past. On the other side, we will laugh at how easy it could have been.

 

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