Friday, December 14, 2012


I'm working my way through Nassim Nicholas Taleb's latest book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.

I am of course considering the application of antifragile to various yoga systems and methodologies; for example, Anusara yoga was itself decidedly fragile: one rather unpredictable shock and the whole system crumbled.

Ashtanga Yoga would seem to be robust rather than antifragile. I suspect it would weather any unexpected shocks, scandals, or outrages (i.e. revelations of the usual groping guru and/or economic swindling), though I don't know that the system itself would necessarily benefit or return stronger from such shocks.

One detail of Taleb's concept seems applicable to Yoga, however: all these singular catastrophes that drive individual schools or brands of yoga into the periphery and out of relevance (Maharishi Mahesh, Satchidananda, Swami Rama, Muktananda, Kripalu, Anusara, Osho, Desikachar, the Hare Krishnas) would appear to greatly benefit the practice of Yoga as a whole.

People seem to be more aware, more sophisticated, more leery of the many pitfalls. The conversation and thinking around the guru-student relationship has changed and, one would hopes, evolved.