The other night my mom asked me what I thought about the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. I won't go into my full answer here--not really appropriate for a yoga blog--but I did say that she is some one who my crowd would have sneered at at our 20th High School reunion, three years ago. Being the know-it-all-journalism types, we wouldn't have approved of some one our age who tries to have library books banned.
But it got me to thinking about the act of sneering and how satisfying it is. And how often it is practiced (especially in the anonymity of the blogosphere). And, also, how it really says more about the sneer-er than the sneer-ee.
Boy, there's a lot of it in yoga-land. Which yoga style is better/more effective/more sustainable; Yoga Journal's cover models; the yoga supers stars' overexposure; the fact that there are yoga super stars at all; studying in India or not; etc etc etc.
Even the gurus themselves aren't above a mighty rant about their "competitors." This was something I found extremely distasteful at a conference last year, when just about every presenter at a teachers' workshop felt inclined to point how much better "their" yoga was than the others. Only David Swenson and Ana Forrest skipped the Sneer--hmmm.
I won't pretend for a minute that I am above commenting on a scrawny model butchering natarajasana (Dancer Pose)in an ad for HardTail yoga pants (what kind of a name is that?) or online teacher-training certifications. Some stuff deserves a skeptical eye. Even so, it says more about my Ego and its need to establish superiority than it does about the things I find fault with. Sigh.
BTW, apparently a sneer is also a freshly poured beer (?), which is something we can all find satisfaction in.