Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To be a yogi, or a famous yoga teacher?

Terri Gross interviewed singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell on Fresh Air last week.

I was half listening until I heard him talk about some advice fellow songwriter Guy Clark gave him back in 1972. Suddenly, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up:

"He said, 'Now, look, you can be a star or you can be an artist. You can be an artist and then become a star, but I don't think it works the other way around. But they're both okay. Pick one and get good at it,' " Crowell says. "Well, I knew he was an artist, so I said, 'I want to be an artist.'

And I want to be a yogi.

I fail often.

But I keep trying.


  1. You're a wonderful yogini!

  2. I wasn't much of a yogi today, when the bank wouldn't cash one of my checks.

    Later, while sitting outside in the sun (yes, it was that warm here today) and reading Mother Teresa's book "No Greater Love," I realized I had to go back and apologize.

    So I did.

  3. I recently read somewhere that you shouldn't worry about teaching until ten years into serious practice, and that made me feel better about not having pursued it seriously.

    I need to pay my rent!

  4. But there's always later... I'm good for another four years.

  5. I think the rule that many people are following is:

    -teach after taking five classes
    -open a studio one month later
    -then launch your own teacher training program

  6. Ha!!! Ya there are a lot of people simply looking for a platform from which to tell others what to do.

    It used to crack me up when a junior teacher would parrot something back to me that they'd heard a senior teacher (Chris) say to me. They'd deliver the words with an all knowing flair. "Oh I heard that... just yesterday!"

    There's a different air when information is not imparted in a patronizing way.

  7. The sad thing is that the students will go to that (new) teacher and not the one who possess the real (experiential) Knowledge.

    Such is life, I guess.

  8. Well... I guess we're all a bit deluded in one way or another, and a lot of people will listen to anyone who speaks with an air of authority. If you're skinny, tattooed and have a few facial piercings and/or dreads, a certain amount of charisma, well that's enough for a lot of people!

    When I got into astanga, I was a gym rat and was just seduced by the sheer physicality of the whole thing. I think I am only just now getting into the real yoga, in the beginning of my 6th year of serious practice. I wouldn't have wished my earlier Astanga self on any unsuspecting newbie as a teacher! Not from present perspective...