Wild Yoga

yoga and thought from Theo Wildcroft

People I follow

research_boardI’m very busy here doing two things – working on the first official draft of my Literature Review, and creating a whole new website with Phil. The new website is designed to give a more representative idea of who I am and what I do now, and it’ll have more space for online content. There are a lot more people that are interested in my work than only local students, and my website needs to make it easy for anyone to find my writing, and more online content such as audio relaxation, video and so on. It’s early days, but I’m also loving the way Phil’s making it look – much more wild and real.

And drafting the Literature Review is a key stage in the doctoral project – when I and my supervisors are happy with that, we can start to timetable in the first big milestone: the probationary review. On that I can base a new funding application, and so on. So big things are happening behind the scenes!

So I thought this week I’d like to share some of the blogs and articles that inspire me, in what I write. None of these are academic, really, but more about the state of culture and religious practice in different ways. Here are some bloggers I really admire – some of them dear friends:

  • Matthew Remski – “I try to be careful to not let what I think I know encroach upon the person, their unique growth, or mine. I try to hold my tools lightly, because they change.”
  • Carol Horton, Ph.D. – “a writer, educator, and activist working at the intersection of mindful yoga, social science, and social justice.”
  • J. Brown – “For more than fifteen years, J. Brown has been developing techniques to teach people how to practice yoga in a deeper and more fulfilling way.”
  • Decolonizing Yoga – “has highlighted the voices of queer people, people of color, disability activists and more in relationship to yoga, spirituality and social justice.”
  • YogaDork – “a place for yogis, or otherwise, to convene and converse, to chat about yoga, yoga-related things, and sometimes presidents re-imagined as yoga teachers.”
  • Recovering Yogi – “As the counterculture to the pop spirituality trend, our mission is to provide a forum for those who are bored with vacuous yoga culture and trite “spiritual” talk.”
  • Druid Life – “Ponderer, singer of songs, teller of stories. Hill walker, daydreamer, Steampunk Folky and Green activist”

And here’s just some of the articles that have influenced my thinking in the last year or so:

  • John Tuite: On the Kindness of Things  – “We fail to see relationship between things. Because we manipulate rather than touch, we grasp rather than hold, we reach forward with the hand while we shrink back with our awareness, handling the world for ends that we have only thought about, not felt. Because we accumulate, accumulate and forget to experience.”
  • James K. Rowe: Zen and the art of social movement maintenance  – “Practices like yoga and meditation were woven throughout Occupy, and were integral to its endurance and impact; they were not a sideshow. This is a part of the Occupy story that remains untold, and yet holds vital lessons for the growing body of activists and mind/body practitioners wondering what good mindfulness can do in an unjust world.”
  • Chelsea Roff: The Truth About Yoga and Eating Disorders – “If yoga can both help and hurt vulnerable students, the question remains: What aspects are positive and which are harmful, and how can the yoga community protect students from the risks?”
  • Tom Linton: India’s indigenous evictions – the dark side of the Jungle Book – “For a people who worship forest deities, accustomed to producing goods and harvesting produce sustainably from the forest, the forced transition to makeshift camps and food hand-outs – on the fringes of a park they are now punished for entering – has lead to poverty, malnutrition and alcoholism. Communities have been fragmented and livelihoods destroyed.”
  • Michel Bauwens: If we can have p2p economics, why not p2p spirituality? – “In this approach, tradition is not rejected but critically experienced and evaluated. The contributory spiritual practitioner can hold themselves beholden to a particular tradition, but need not feel confined to it. He or she can create spiritual inquiry circles that approach different traditions with an open mind, experience them individually and collectively, and exchange experiences with others.”
  • Plan C: We are all very anxious – “Each moral panic, each new crackdown or new round of repressive laws, adds to the cumulative weight of anxiety and stress arising from general over-regulation. Real, human insecurity is channelled into fuelling securitisation. This is a vicious circle, because securitisation increases the very conditions (disposability, surveillance, intensive regulation) which cause the initial anxiety. In effect, the security of the Homeland is used as a vicarious substitute for security of the Self.”