I've been increasingly practicing yoga, thus far focusing on doing daily sequences while recieving help from a highly skilled friend/teacher. I'm trying to make a daily habit of it. This morning was cold (by Southern California standards); dragging myself into the backyard and onto a small deck to do my routine was a chore…but I always feel so good afterwards.
Looking for more help with form, I recently went to my first free class at a highly recommended and popular local studio. I was given a loaner mat for the session. The class was OK, save for the fact that I was surrounded by people, was indoors, had trouble finding parking, and had to fill out a legal waiver before participating.
Promptly after the class finished, I was greeted with small talk by the teacher and eventually led to the "store" of the studio and given a tour of all of the recommended accessories that I could buy as a beginner. Yoga mats (Chinese made PVC ranging from $40 to over $100), yoga mat bags, yoga mat straps, yoga towels, yoga mat cleaning solutions, yoga pants, yoga shirts, yoga water bottles, yoga blocks (both Chinese foam and cork), yoga socks, yoga gloves, and a myriad of CDs and DVDs ranging from yoga instruction to waterfall music.
I won't be going back.
I need yoga in the mountains, practiced barefoot and in the dirt. I need garage yoga. Backyard yoga. Doesn't anyone do this down and dirty style?
Where are the feral yogis? There've got to be some around here. It's a big country. I'm going to start searching the local canyons and alleyways of Venice Beach.
You would think that a practice rooted in quietude and mindfulness would be free from all the commercial trappings. You would think.
"So you've started a new hobby; here's what to buy."
Of course, this happens everywhere. Everything reeks of it.
Kind of like backpacking. I wonder how much John Muir worried about packs with increased air flow to minimize back sweat.
Doing things requires buying things, so we're told, and so often buying things becomes a surrogate for doing things.
And then buying things becomes doing things.
How often we forget to ask ourselves:
Do I really need this crap?