Yoga Folklore.


So I went to one of my mother’s awesome yoga classes last night, internet, and I was (perhaps abstractly) struck with the similarities between folklore and yoga instruction. Admittedly, I was also sweaty and delirious at this point, having been in the car driving from Canada all day and not having really eaten much, but let me lay it down for you and you can tell me what your thoughts are in the comments, k?

As Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal”.

Yes, I’m starting this blog with a super pretentious art quote. Deal. 

Here’s my thought process:

Yoga teachers are influenced by other yoga teachers who were influenced by other yoga teachers who were influenced by other yoga teachers ad nauseum.

I have, many times, taken and taught elements of other classes I took that I really liked. The teachers in our studio joke about this all the time. We absolutely pass sequences around and teach the same themes and focus on the same poses from time to time, intentionally or not. Since our studio also teaches Barre and Pilates, and many of our teachers teach more than one discipline, there’s a certain amount of fitness cross-contamination happening as well. I taught a Barre abs section in yoga last week. No shame.

The oral storytelling traditions of folklore work in much the same way. A tale gets written, and told and passed down, and as it gets passed down and retold, it changes. Bits and pieces are lost and embellished and warped. Sometimes the story gets better, sometimes it loses something vital, but either way, the storyteller is trying to preserve the original intention.

Anyways, those are my thoughts.

What are yours?

 

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