… trust your gut! You’ve come to the right place!
This year everything seems to be different — I’m different. You’re different (I bet). The world is different.
Whereas many other yoga teachers all over the world started to teach online, for me this was never an option. In fact, without being judgmental, and with a lot of sympathy for any yoga business, big or small, this was the last straw:
I’ve had enough.
Ultimately, it wasn’t even the pandemic that changed my mind. Instead, it was an ongoing feeling of growing discomfort surrounding the global yoga scene. From yoga leggings to yogi tea, from hot yoga to beer yoga — yoga has long ceased to be a cuddle party for hippies and esoteric drop-outs. Instead for many it has become an extremely profitable business.
Hidden right behind the proclaimed peaceful and anti-materialistic practice you’ll find lingering a gigantic and international industry, turning around an estimated eighty million Dollars each year, tendency still rising. Yoga is “big business”, bustling with phonies, showoffs and posers. Accordingly, under the surface the climate is frosty — amongst rabbit breeders there is more companionship and cooperation!
With each “down dog” I practice, undeniably I find myself thinking that reciting a mantra clearly won’t help with the growing number of nazis amongst the members of the german parliament, neither with white policemen having their knees on black people’s neck.
And the increasing number of posts and comments on social media, written or shared by yoga teachers, some of them well-established in the yoga scene, announcing their reservations against “compulsory vaccinations” for Covid-19, or bragging on about some conspiracy theories — it makes me wanna puke (sorry!!)!
Too much self-centredness equals non-political, or at least ignorant.
Prioritizing the mastering of ones own handstand practice over the seemingly smallest step of another, who maybe for the first time was bold enough to unclench their fists in the final relaxation pose, if not even close their eyes. And to preach and repeat the same phrases over and over again (“find ease in the effort” and “simply let go”) whilst somewhere across the globe rainforests burn up, sooner or later will turn out an illusion.
Identity is fluid.
Along with a growing feeling of discomfort to be part of this, and wanting to get away, simultaneously after years I started picking up my sketchbook and pen. During lockdown I designed eight book covers for the english author Robert John Goddard. You can view them here.
I also happened to come across Sketchbook School, an online platform for creative people all over the world. Becoming part of that community set me off on a totally different path, more liberating than I could have ever imagined.
I haven’t stopped sketching since, filling one page of my sketchbook after another. Some of my sketches made it into printed T-Shirts, cups, and pillowcases on Redbubble. Especially if you like chicken, you definitely want to check them out!
The process is ongoing, and as one of my teachers at university always said: “You have to have a handle to one’s name“.
It seemed to have served as a doorway into parts of my being I had forgotten about, all of a sudden leading to a powerful process of coming out of the hiding and allowing the world in, without forsaking who I really am. Not just the shiny outer layer we’re all happy to share, but the one that is caught between disparate worlds — loved and lonely, bold and desperately anxious, confident and full of doubts …
Art makes us less lonely because it always comes from the desperate center of the artist—and each of our centers is desperate. That’s why good art is such a relief.
— from “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
This sounds and feels so f*cking right: And she goes on:
This is what people are like. We are all so fucked up and so magical. Life is so brutal and beautiful. Life is brutiful. For all of us.
If you’re ready for a galvanizing wake-up call, read Glennon Doyle’s book. And for the art, please keep checking in. Together we’re less desperate and lonely. I promise to do my best by showing you my most authentic self — untamed.