Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.
Why blog? Why a yoga blog? Am I royally wasting my time? Two weeks after starting my yoga blog, I am asking these questions.
I knew little (okay, nothing) about the yoga blogging world. I just wanted a place to express my thoughts about yoga. After creating my WordPress account and anonymous moniker, I plunged in. You see, I tend to overthink, overanalyze, overcompare. Blogger versus WordPress? The right name? Anonymous or personal? Funny or serious? Who will read my blog anyway? Would a personal journal be more worthwhile? Is this just a procrastination scheme to avoid real writing? Shouldn’t I simply practice more yoga instead?
Then I read the quote above. Do something. Anything, goddamit! I decided to post sooner rather than later. In retrospect, I should have done more research. While I do check a few blogs (see my Blogroll), I read literally no yoga blogs before August.
But as a blogger I am behooved to troll around for other blogs on my subject. Yoga blogs fall into four general categories:
- INSTRUCTIVE: These teaching blogs can offer helpful how-to’s if written by someone who knows yoga. My favorite so far is The Everything Yoga Blog, thoughtful tips and personal anecdotes by a yoga therapist on Long Island.
- DIARY: The majority might be these online diaries, often spurred by goals (whether to chart progress in Ashtanga or to lose weight and eat better). They can be either touching and inspiring or stream-of-consciousness slop.
- SOCIAL COMMENTARY: Lauren Cahn’s essays for HuffPost are well-written examples of a yogi’s take on yoga in modern society (her personal blog, Yoga Chickie, is among the better Diary blogs).
- ENTERTAINMENT: I initially enjoyed these amusing blogs best. Like reading the Style section of the Times or the latest cool magazine, they seemed a welcome antidote to the overly earnest drivel on holding hands and om-ing together. But over time I felt that the focus on Celebrity and Fads and Gossip to be utterly draining. Still, here are two winners in this category: Yoga Dork, a Gawker-ish newsboard (with knowing urban commentary) and YogaDawg, with irreverent, hilarious, and wacky satire, revealing the sensibility of a New Yorker slash crazy guy.
- ESTABLISHMENT: These are blogs sponsored by magazines, written by staff, with perhaps less room for quirkiness. Elephant Journal features a variety of posts on the “mindful life,” a bit predictable and too cozy with the Yoga Journal and big-name establishment for my taste. The Yoga Journal blogs: Yoga Diary and Yoga Buzz (I can’t quite distinguish between the two blogs’ objectives) both provide quick shots of YJ-tailored news and attitudes, including much reportage of their own conferences.
The only major yoga forum is the Yoga Journal Community, where members can write blog posts for a built-in audience. Among the active members, I like Satyam’s posts; he’s a Maryland teacher who seems sincere and wise without being a bore.
Who knew that such a world existed?
Trying to promote my baby blog, I started commenting here and there. But while I value the power of community and discussion, the blog surfing and socializing (which seems concomitant to successful blogging) both intrigued and exhausted me.
Yoga. Blogging. In a way, they’re opposite endeavors: internal versus external. This is the very dilemma that makes me rather averse to most yoga retreats (much less the Yoga Journal conferences). I’m not doing yoga “to meet people” or “to make friends,” and the social aspect can be insidious, affecting your behavior (what you wear, say, think) and hindering introspection. Of course, if I do meet fellow yoga folks who become real friends, I’m very grateful and pleased. (It’s like shopping or working out. In my single days, I didn’t prowl the supermarket or do pull-ups at the gym to find a guy. But I admit I was thrilled when it happened.)