i can do some funky stuff. i love arm balances and inversions and i work really hard on them. so, when my teachers need a demonstrator, i’m often the one who’s asked to demo. and i’m totally cool with that. in fact, i enjoy it.
but somewhere in the past five years or so, it’s suddenly become the norm to clap for people who demonstrate a pose. outside of perhaps anusara, it didn’t used to be that way.
of course, i know that the intention is politeness and appreciation, but really this applause is just another extension of the increasing exhibitionism of the yoga practice. yoga is no longer about self-practice and discipline, but about accomplishment and aesthetics. a weird mutual admiration society whose primary currency is “likes”.
honestly, it sort of embarrasses me when people clap for a demo…as if i was somehow expecting (or even wanting) applause and adulation. quite the opposite, all i really want is to (a) facilitate the teacher’s teaching and (b) facilitate other students’ learning. i would rather people go “ahhhh….right. i get it”, return to their mats and try the pose.
it’s sad to me how much yoga has devolved into an exhibitionist sport. the powers that be (read: bikram) are even fighting hard to get yoga into the olympics as–you got it–an exhibition sport.
we have so deeply lost sight of what yoga is meant to be about. it’s not about looking good or even looking good in asana. it’s about focus, dedication, and humility. *clap, clap*