Yogis and Academics

They say you should blog to reach a broad audience. I’ll do the opposite. I’m going to talk about the general types of people who exist at yoga AND in academia (and really, the only thing more pretentious than talking about yoga and academia is using the term academia). So for all 12 people this applies to (and the 2 of you who might actually read this), here we go, let’s start with

The one who’s been there forever. The old-timer. They’re still going strong, but they’re using techniques no one’s seen since the Reagan administration. They were there before it was cool (we’re going to pretend at some point that faculty life became cool). They’ve done their time, and they’ve earned your respect. They’ll listen to Joni Mitchell if they want to. And even though they’ve been here forever and been at it longer than the some of their peers have been alive, they’re still not

The know-it-all. Ugh. This is the one you would throw something at if you weren’t so enlightened (in yoga) or afraid of prison (because who wants to be the professor in a sweater vest in San Quentin). If this was the same as the last person, all would be well. But usually it’s not. Usually they have more in common the next person. I should probably admit that I’m this person in the academic community. I can’t help it. And this person makes it worse for

The tentative newbie. These are the fun ones. They did their research before they showed up. But now they’re here and they don’t know what to do. They need guidance. They’re watching others to make sure they have the right supplies and take the right actions. And they’re desperate not to be called out in the group because of a giant case of imposter syndrome. Give them a few weeks and a few Google searches, and they’ll become the know-it-all. Maybe. And when they show up in the group, the newbie can’t help but wonder who is

The smelly one. Why does there always have to be a smelly one? And why do they never seem to know it’s them? And deep down, you know your fear is that you’re the smelly one. But certainly, you know you’re not

The chipper one. Almost as bad as the smelly one. They’re just glad to be here. If they can’t do as well as everyone else, that’s ok. This isn’t a competition. We should all be smiling. Do you want to grab lunch? They’ll just hang out and maybe make friends with

The who’s just better than everyone else. And you don’t even hate them for it. They’re not just trying to show off. They’re just better. The only person who doesn’t like them is

The competitive one. And you do hate them for it. I’m also this one in both settings. It’s caused some problems. Injuries in one place and arguments in another. I’ll let you guess which (though wouldn’t it be great to hear a couple of yogis going at it in the middle of warrior II just heckling the crap out of each other? “You call that front knee 90 degrees, Brian? Watch this.” “Your arms aren’t even level, Kenneth. I don’t want to hear anything from you today.”). And the competitive one means you might not get to keep

The visitor. They might be new. They might be seasoned. Either way, they’re just around temporarily. Maybe they’ll come back for more later on, but that’s not in the cards right now. So they’re a stranger in the group. Sometimes they have their own baggage and do things their own way, but sometimes that’s good for the group to see a new example, just so long as it doesn’t catch the attention of

The blogger. And don’t we all wish there were fewer of these…


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