Transgression- Breaking Patterns in the Yoga Community
To my surprise (and my relief), I have found that there are people in the online community who go against the cultural norms of veganism and has completely opened up a new door in my research. I was very surprised to find transgression in this type of online community. This stemmed from last weeks research were I found a commenter in the community who ate meat felt really guilty about it which sparked interest to whether other people in the community felt this way, or if they shamelessly confessed to eating meat.
I read a blog called “confessions of a meat-eating yogini” written by a blogger called Rebecca Butler which is available at Rebellesociety.com. A quote from this blog which I found very interesting and supports the fact that people conform to fit a certain type of self-image. She talks how denying her body of meat for years caused her to become ill therefore she goes against the cultural norms in order to be healthy.
Why am I denying it what it needs? Oh wait, so I can fit a certain self-created image… Hmm….
What I find interesting is she says that these ‘dogmatic rules’ begin to define us’ showing that she felt defined by being a vegetarian to fit in with the stereotype of a yoga teacher. What I find shocking is that she become anemic whilst pregnant in order to conform to this identity which I think it very extreme.
I went to study this issues further from someone who was also ill due to their diet and had no choice but to eat meat to cure her chronic illness. The of this post i a yogi called Lauren Burke and the article is called ‘Yes, I’m eating meat to cure my chronic illness’ The writer also expresses guilt and is worried about how others in the yoga community such as Tara Stiles would perceive her if she went against this cultural norm.
I found this piece of data very interesting as there is a lot of conflicting views in the discussion surrounded the topic. The reach of this article was huge in comparison to any of the other articles I have read over the past few weeks and it gained a lot of interest across a various channel of social networking platforms. 337 people commented sharing their views on the article, it gained over 5000 Facebook likes, over 100 Tweets and over 90 people pinned it to their Pinterest accounts. To my surprise some of the comments were negative and people were challenging her decision to eat meat and some people were supportive of her decision. The article sparked controversy and caused a lot of conflict between users in the online community.
Here is an example of people in the community who were threatening and were against her decision. These comments of people in the community highlights why there are pressures to conform and to behave a certain way in this community.
When reading the further comments, I had found somebody in the community who was supportive of her decision to eat meat and she relates her post to Ahimsa. She highlights the fact that the writer is still incorporating the values of Ahimsa into her life by treating herself right Week by week I am finding the topic of Ahimsa is very relevant to the yoga community and will be one of the main themes of my Netnographic project.
This week I have been surprised by the depth of how eating meat, even if it is for medical reasons, can be perceived badly in the community. It has also opened my eyes up more to the value of Ahimsa and how it related to non violence of all beings including the self.
Thanks very much for reading. See you next week!