Yoga does NOT imply 5G conspiracy theories or anti-vax

An interesting article in today’s Sunday Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/from-asana-to-antivax-how-yoga-is-helping-to-spread-conspiracy-theories-9k27n5kh2 has prompted me to respond. I’ve heard a lot of yoga teachers jittering with fear around Covid, 5G and conspiracy theories. First, I was patient with them: fears need ears and love to reassure them. I don’t judge. It’s easy to dismiss someone who says they think we’re being jabbed with poison. I don’t like taking medicines or injecting things into me and the normal timeline to create a vaccine is three to five years. This has been a rush. It’s also true that Big Pharma (a traditional target of yogis seeking to recommend the benefits of food as medicine) is making trillions out of the push to vaccinate the human population. The untold story of animal testing worries me too. Taking macaques from the wild just so humans, who have done so much damage to the planet, can survive, makes me want to weep.

But I want to be clear on this: I’m vaccinated because I don’t believe I have a choice if I want to work and travel, as I have to do if I’m to support my partner and family. I also don’t believe that I’ve been jabbed with poison, or a tracking device. A nurse injected me with mRNA tozinameran in Mallow in May and again in June. The vaccine is a nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the full-length spike protien of SARS-CoV-2, encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles. In very simple terms, my body has been tricked into believing I have Covid, and it has produced antibodies which increase my chance of fighting infection if I get exposed to actual Covid. That’s it. It’s got some risks. I don’t like messing about with my body’s immune system because it’s been good at doing its job on its own so far. But I did a cost benefit analysis and on the whole, I don’t think there’s an argument. I would be foolish and selfish not to have had the jab. If I lived alone in a bee loud glade, maybe. In Ireland, travelling for work and family, no choice. I’m grateful that I am somewhat protected from a virus that has come about through our putting other species under too much pressure. Where did it come from? I don’t know. But I don’t believe that it was released by an evil genius to kill us. Human incompetence is more likely. We like to hide it, but the greatest feature of our species is our ignorance. I include myself in that. 

Yoga and conspiracies

OK, my good friend told me that I should shorten this, and now I’ve lost the earlier (rather brilliant) bit on Yoga and conflict, how we face conflict, how yogis have faced conflict in the past (think Arjuna, and dealing with one’s dharma). But I can’t find the draft and I don’t think it’s so important that I’m going to spend a lot of time worrying about it. You’re all grown up (probably, and if you’re not, well done for getting this far!). And you can make up your own minds.

Listening for a change

This was obviously a title for an earlier version that I managed to lose, but it’s also the title of a great book I read when I was collecting oral testimonies of refugees. Refugees have been through a huge amount of trauma because people stick to their ideals above all else. Give me practical philosophy every time. Give me inconsistency and a recognition that we are all full of contradictions. Give me self compassion and patience and a willingness to integrate, and to look for common ground even as I recognise my own unique stance. Good luck. Be kind. Never give up.

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