nyc yoga + white out = 1 hilarious brown blog post (feat: pj harvey’s, grow, grow, grow)

dear readers,

a bit of politically tinged humor for you today, live from new york cit-tay.

i walk into yoga class today, the only discernible indian body as usual, and as i roll out the mat, the space i will root in and grow from for the next hour, this is what the yoga teacher says:

“[blahblahblah] and to those of you who want sanskrit names (wtf), i want to let you know that i am authorized to give you a sanskrit name (wtf 2 the infinite power), so if you want a sanskrit name come see me after class, all i need is your current name and your birth date. lets begin, my name is shubhabakti/katy, breathe in nah-mah-sthay.”

i’m glad i watched karate kid last night on hulu because all through class i just kept hearing mr. miyagi telling daniel: “wax on, wax off, breathe in, breathe out,” and, “whole life have a balance, everything be better.”

top thoughts on the “i’m authorized to give you a sanskrit name” statement below. but first, that class got me thinking about growth. this is an amazing clip of one of my faves wrecking shop on a rather stiff parisian talk show. ladies and gentlemen, pj harvey, singing, “grow, grow, grow,” off her eighth studio album, white chalk:

top thoughts on “i am authorized to give you a sanskrit name, i just need your name and birthday (!)”:

number one: why do you want a sanskrit/hindi name so bad? does it make you feel more flexible? is your sanskrit name truer to your inner indian soul? do you want it bad enough to put that shit on your license? will you say your new/ancient brown name when you’re calling for a job interview?

number two: if you want a sanskrit name, guess what, you can give one to yourself!!! ain’t nobody motherfucking authorized to give you a sanksrit name. like its a law degree or black belt. daniel the karate kid from newark didn’t have a black belt but he still won the karate competition. puff daddy made his name puff daddy AND p diddy on his own! see how that works?

number three: if anyone WAS authorized to give you a sanskrit name it wouldn’t be her and you would not, i repeat, would not, have to give that person your motherfucking birth date. people. india is spiritual but not in the 1-900 number sense, more like in the incredible land, long history, strong beings, brilliant texts and unfathomable music kinda sense. so, not so different from you, really. sorry to disappoint. i know you were genuinely looking forward to giving shubhabakti/katy your birthday info.

epilogue: i went up to the teacher after class (i almost lost it when she chanted: “hairy om, hairy om” one to0 many benchod times) and gave her props on the class before letting her know that statements like “i’m authorized to give you a sanskrit name,” can be potentially alienating to the south asians in the class who are already navigating a yoga white-out. she seemed to listen, then said, “well, you looked beautiful in the class.”

perfect. i told her she did too. creep.

note to my readers (around a 1000 per post!): i’m splitting time between chapters and blog posts. and, of course, teaching, loving, stressing, and yoga. i will be posting weekly, at least, generally over the weekend.

stay tuned for more from the adventures of the political poet.


roopa singh

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8 thoughts on “nyc yoga + white out = 1 hilarious brown blog post (feat: pj harvey’s, grow, grow, grow)

  1. Hey Professor Singh.

    It’s Nidaa, from your Law and Social change class. I just wanted to say that your post has totally made my day. I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard in a while. A long while…
    I have to say, I give you a lot of credit for not socking this woman in the face. You seemed pretty frustrated. LOL
    Also, I love how obtaining a sanskrit name only requires your current name and birth date. Now that’s hilarious!

    “i almost lost it when she chanted: “hairy om, hairy om” one to0 many benchod times”
    I definitely HAVE to quote this on my facebook. It had me laughing for a good 5 minutes. =D

  2. Anirvan says:

    Haven’t you heard? Sanskrit names are like porn star names and soap opera names.

    Makes me wonder if my parents were authorized. (There’s nothing more embarrassing than having an unauthorized Sanskrit name.)

  3. haha get em. dope post. fuckin sick

  4. […] westernized yoga experience as lived by an Indian student in NYC. This post made me laugh. AND it features PJ […]

  5. ebean says:

    this was so hilarious! amazing post 🙂

  6. Belinda says:

    I’m ‘Durgamaa’ on Twitter so the peeps will know why I’m burning up all this shit… so far, they love it!

    And I love your post, and your Voice.

    Namaste, sista.

  7. megan says:

    Hilarious post and sadly too true. I’ve always been so irritated by white girl yogis giving themselves their own Sanskrit name. Wtf indeed.

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