Be Of Value
I went to a workout class this morning and two things happened that got me thinking…please keep in mind I go to work out not be spiritually fulfilled. I like to keep everything in balance and some times a challenging, all physical class is just what I need.
As I was running on the treadmill, I found myself focusing on the music they were playing. I was finding the rhythm in my feet, and enjoying the beat and then I realized that the lyrics were telling women to shake their ass and slut it up (literally slut it up). I thought how ironic… here is a class full of 80% women, seemingly being empowered in their strength and endurance, working out in a city that prides itself for its liberal ideals, one of which is women’s rights and equality, and yet no one seems to be flinching that the sound track to our experience could not be more contradictive. It seems like more often then not I hear songs like this in the workout spire and some times even in power yoga classes. It just seems to me it would catch more people’s attention and maybe, just maybe make the instructors think... I mean there is an endless world of music out there that can inspire people, why choose songs that degrade anyone.
After our workout we were stretching, and the instructor was making announcements about social opportunities to meet other people who work out at the gym. It was a call for community, and they were going to be hosting a “yoga and beer party.” Great effort to try and create community, but can it be done without disrespecting an ancient culture. Why call it yoga, why not just call it stretching and beer. I know many people do not have the common sense to show respect for an ancient barrowed practice like yoga. They think it is perfectly appropriate to dilute it with alcohol or what ever else they see fit.
I realized that we spend so much time focused on the people who are politically different, religiously different, or morally different, that we forget to notice what is happening in our own environments that is contradictive to our ideals. We need to examine our daily worlds to see how little everyday choices contribute to holding us back from our goals as a society. We may think these are two small occurrences that don’t really hurt anyone, and we have bigger problems to solve. But if we want to talk about women’s rights and equality we need to recognize the power in messaging and what messages we are sending out, even in a workout class. We also need to recognize that we are a country that borrows many traditions from others and it is our responsibility to borrow them with respect.
Sometimes ignorance can be more harmful then malice, so my prayer is that we can all compassionately point out ignorance when we see it. Hopefully one day women will stop being bombarded by songs with catchy beats which are disguising degrading lyrics. Let’s all be the leader and stop waiting for someone else to do it. Ladies let us rise in our dignity and grace and show the world how we wish to be treated. And please if you are teaching yoga and doing it in a way that does not honor and respect its roots, reconsider…
Einstein said it so perfectly Our ever day choices are what leave our mark on the world and those around us. Do you want to just climb to the top regardless of who you step on to get there, or do you want to add value and empowerment to everyone who crosses your path? I choose the latter...
Sat Nam XOX