Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lefty Diva: Why I Swapped Yoga for Kickboxing



Alternet has a short article by the Princess of Progressive Publishing, Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of "The Nation" magazine, has written "Why I Swapped Yoga for Kickboxing".
Here are a few excerpts, followed by my commentary:

"Now, I have nothing against yoga, but in light of the threat to our country posed by decidedly hawkish GOP wannabes, I find – at least for my purposes as publisher and editor of the Nation – yoga's emphasis on serenity and pacifism to be frustrating at best, impractical at worst. It's not that there's anything objectionable about the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras; like many ancient spiritual texts, they are eminently wise and reasonable."
*
"Quite simply, yoga doesn't play in politics, which, for Republicans in this day and age, is all about winning, taking and imposing one's will upon others.
Now, more than ever, Americans need to stand up, to fight for what is rightfully ours; we cannot dispassionately let the right impose its will upon us merely because we believe we're closer to spiritual enlightenment than they are."
*
"Don't get me wrong: we need yogis and yoga in our society. Together, they represent a valuable addition to contemporary thought and culture. But for me, in a contentious election year, I find it more meaningful to lace up my gloves and kick some ass (or at least, a punching bag)."
--------------------------------------------

What Vanden Heuvel says in her article is two-fold.
First, recent studies are showing that legions of out-of-shape office workers are doing serious injury with certain Yoga techniques. Take a look at this article from "The New York Times" titled "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body".

The second angle is something I addressed in my article on Hippie Punching, "Hippies Punch Back".

So much of the thought on the enlightened "Left" suggests that we strive for non-attachment. It's a very tolerant, Taoist ideology that accepts things as they are. While being good for managing stress and things that are just plain out of our control, this thought negates the concept that we are masters of our own destiny.

In "Hippies Punch Back", I sarcastically poke fun at Yuppie Jock-types, and warn them that Hippies can indeed punch back, and possibly do serious damage.
When I was a teenager, a biker gang rode into a park full of Hippie kids drinking wine and smoking pot. The bikers pulled a power trip and started fighting with the kids. One of them had a chainsaw chain wrapped with tape for a handle and was swinging it at the kids. Someone walked up behind him and hit him over the head with a wine bottle and the kids jumped the other biker and beat the shit out of both of them. The cops came and arrested the bikers, and within an hour both their bikes had been completely stripped and "disappeared".

For some reason, bullies on the far-right think they have the lock on toughness or survival skills. Apparently they've never seen what it takes to run a communal farm or have a baby at home.

Vanden Heuvel hints at a sea change in progressive thought. Thousands of workers shut down the capitol in Wisconsin recently, and threaten to re-call the Governor. The "Occupy" movement has been peaceful to a point, but shows no sign of backing down.
After being pushed and pushed by big corporate money and aggressive, self-righteous religious fundamentalists, things are changing.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel says it's time to lace up the gloves.

1 comment:

Mendur said...

Interesting. I'm taking a class in Hinduism and Buddhism this semester, which will include a discussion about yoga. I'll be sure to bring this up.