Self-Care Break and Elephant Journal Dissilusionment.

I’ve heard from some hard-core people out there that you should do your everyday no matter what, the only exceptions being a fever or broken bones (and for ladies, i would add during one’s moon and at the final weeks of pregnancy perhaps).

Well, I have neither a fever nor any broken bones, nor am I on my “holiday”, but I didn’t practice today and I’m not sure I’m going to practice tomorrow either.

I did my full practice yesterday and I even played with some preps for kapotasana.  I taught a class last night too, though I did very little demonstrating or adjusting.  But when I left the studio and returned home last night I couldn’t help but start crying pitiful, whiny tears.  My body was in so much pain, I couldn’t help myself but cry a little.

My shoulders, alas, are really acting up terribly.  Simply putting on a shirt is excruciating.  On top of this I also had terribly sore calves yesterday from dancing and running around on Saturday at a great kirtan led by Gaura Vani (but that totally worth the charlie-horse in my calf).

So, I slept in this morning and then lay out my sheepskin and did some very gentle stretching and some Kundalini to get the energy flowing before my little 2 year old friend Antun came over for some playtime.  We went for a walk together and now I’m continuing with the lazy day by making Christmas presents and wearing comfy clothes.

I really hoped that I could just push through this.  I hoped that practice would actually heal my shoulders, but my body gave me a very clear signal after the past 2 days of hard practice.  😦

I realize I haven’t written a piece for elephant journal in so long.  I’ve had a few ideas, I even have one half-finished piece, but I just haven’t followed through.  To be honest, I’m a little sick of EJ these days.  FY is spending a lot of time with elephant ashtanga and elephant bhakti, so I sort of feel like we are collectively volunteering enough time and energy to the site already.

FY wrote a piece recently that caused a big stir.  It was a response to one of David Romanelli’s inane pieces of “comedy” in which he called this woman a “crazy bitch” and then she had a coconut thrown at her head.  Not very yogic.  At least that’s what we thought, but the main editors of EJ didn’t seem to have a problem with it at all.  They actually thought the piece was funny! Ugh!

Here’s Thad’s piece – I would highly recommend you read it.  Especially the comments, because the true colors of Waylon Lewis really do shine forth.  That’s definitely one more reason I feel disinclined to write for EJ.  I do appreciate how my numbers go up whenever I post on EJ, but still, I can’t help but think that Waylon is taking lots of people for a ride.  His only costs are the domain name fees.  He has no paid employees, including his top-editors, no office space to rent.  All of the writing on the site is contributed by volunteers.   EJ gets over 40,000 hits a day and he has a gazillion advertisers and sponsors, so someone is obviously making quite a pretty penny off the site.  Of course Waylon denies this, constantly repeating his sob-story about his house in foreclosure.  Blah blah blah.  I know how blog advertising works.  I’m not fooled.

Whatever…. I’m going to India soon…..and then I’m getting married…..and that’s all I really care about right now. 🙂

Love and Blessings




11 thoughts on “Self-Care Break and Elephant Journal Dissilusionment.

  1. Wish you all the best, and may your body heal quickly. I really disagree with people claiming “if yoga caused it, yoga can heal it” – taking some time off the practice, well, I’m with you on that one…

  2. Hey Frances! Woah – I just dove into Thad’s piece (which was excellent) and the comments that ensued. I had anxiety reading all the back-and-forth! Crazy. I admire the way Thad handled it.

    I’ve been breaking the “rules” and hibernating recently. Jennifer told me not to beat myself up about it – that it’s our “bear nature”.

    Hope to see you guys on Sunday at the White Elephant. And, I hope your shoulders feel better!


    • yea that was a pretty insane comment thread, right?
      it definitely is getting to be hibernating season…i sure loved sleeping in this morning.
      we will see you this weekend at white elephant! i’m going to make vegan gingerbread and vegan peppermint chocolate cupcakes. yum!

  3. Hello Frances,
    I’m really sorry to hear about the pain you are going through; I’m working with an injury myself too. Please take a break if you have to; just know that the practice is always waiting for you when you are ready to start again. Hope you heal quickly.

    As for EJ… I’m very ambivalent about the whole publication. I was approached to write for them sometime ago, but I still have not agreed to do so, mainly for the reasons that you bring up. Basically, there seems to be a fundamental disconnect somewhere between their professed mission and what is actually going on, both in their articles and in their management practices. Btw, I totally agree with Thad about not condoning derogatory language: How can we possibly aspire to any form of spirituality if we can’t even refrain from hurting others in word and thought?

    • Hi Nobel.
      Sorry about your injury too….it’s a pain (literally) but there’s always something to be learned from the experience.
      I agree with you about the noticeable and fundamental disconnect of values/philosophies on EJ. I appreciate that good, serious yogis contribute to the site, but yea, right now, I don’t feel like putting too much of my blogging energy there. Thad is doing a lot of work getting some great teachers to share pieces on EJ….so it will be worth your time in the coming months to check it out occasionally…Eddie Stern, David Keil, Govinda Kai and other certified/authorized teachers will be making appearances….Btw – thanks for having me on your blogroll- I get quite a lot of hits from your blog daily – much appreciated!

    • Hey Nobel…

      I must say that I considered approaching you myself to start contributing to EJ. I am definitely sympathetic to your ambivalence concerning the EJ approach and system, but my feeling is that with that many hits a day it would be a shame and a huge disservice to the sincere members of the yoga community to abandon it to those with less operative discernment. And despite it’s drawbacks, I have been received with great openness and freedom to create an atmosphere there to the best of my ability. Thus, while I may not always agree with their approach and perspective, I am doing my best to bring what I consider to be the authentic approach to its pages as often as possible. If you ever change your mind, or would just like to discuss the possibility further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

  4. In my book rest days are a must. I’ve been aiming for a four day cycle of three days on followed by one rest day. But occasionally that is also too much. Last week I broke down. I took a rest day. Then practiced the next day but had to abort practice, it just felt bad. Then I took two rest days and then was feeling much better.
    I’m really curious where this recommendation comes from not to take rest days (or even just to take one per week). In other forms of sports training it is common, even mandatory, to take at least two rest days per week.
    In any case, I wish you the best to pull through it.

    • Rest days are important for sure. In Ashtanga they are built into the system because we rest every Saturday and every full and new moon. Other than that, it is suggested that you practice 6 days a week, no matter what (according to Guruji and senior teachers). Obviously everyone’s body is different and we might each need different amounts of rest. I like to practice 6 days a week, but my body can be a bit fragile, so I have to sometimes take more rest. Thanks for your well-wished and for checking out my blog!

  5. I hope the inflammation in your shoulders subsides. It sure sounds like they will appreciate a bit of rest. I know you and your beloved do body work so you probably know that a l title icing will numb things enough to rest comfortably.

    About EJ, what can I say, it’s like a JHS classroom: the hyper kids, the ones that want to try stand up, the studious ones, the complainers, the advanced students, all taking the same course….I missed all the hoopla because I stick to my favorites, and skip the ones that make me want to write their parents. I love to read what Thaddeus, Ramesh, the guys from yoga 2.0, and lately David Robson, & Paul Gold write. I think Waylon and the editors will either evolve into less how pole dancing made me a better yogi, or turn into a collection of glib entries and daily show clips(love those). because even though contrast is good and inevitable, a loud caption drives away the contemplative reader

    • hehe..I like the JHS classroom analogy – very fitting. It is true that there’s great stuff on elephant journal, serious and thought-provoking stuff, and also true that here is more than enough mindless pop-culture silliness too. One has to be a discriminating reader to cull out the best pieces. The beauty of elephant journal (and this is simultaneously it’s greatest burden) is that it is all-inclusive. This can be really cool, I just would prefer that these non-yoga pieces not be published in the “yoga” section of the blog. But Waylon isn’t much of a yogi….and to be honest the other major editors are not either, and I think that is clear given some of their editorial decisions. Thanks for your well wishes.

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