Tuesday, February 08, 2011
The Yoga Divas
Review by Rene Schwiesow
Rob Dinsmoor, a yoga teacher, tells us he did not choose yoga as a career, it chose him. The word yoga is Sanskrit, the root of which means “to yoke,” or to unite. During yoga one may find that they are “united,” with what Deepak Chopra calls, “the field” [of consciousness].
Dinsmoor is also a free-lance writer with many articles published on health and medical issues and has a background as a comedy writer with a group called, Chucklehead. Chucklehead was the subject of his first book: “Tales of the Troupe.” On the back of his second book, “The Yoga Divas,” Dinsmoor refers to an experience during a Kundalini yoga class from which there was no turning back. He goes on to say that he “became inextricably connected with the universe.”
While similar to other types of yoga, Kundalini yoga connects itself to Kundalini energy, which can be described as a sleeping, dormant energetic force that rises from the base of the spine – it is the energy of the Self and through its awakening an individual may be liberated from the constraints of Ego. I was intrigued by what I read, because I am an energy healer, very familiar with the chakras, and I have practiced yoga. I thought I was going to read about a profound spiritual journey, an awakening to uniting with “the field.”
The opening story, entitled “Kundalini Awakened,” was interesting and gave us a good look at the experience of Kundalini. He described well the pessimism that many beginners have when approaching a philosophy designed to awaken consciousness. He also described well what might happen to that individual once they complete the experience and walk out into the world again, craving something to ground them back to the earth. Dinsmoor grounds himself by eating a hearty breakfast filled with carbs and proteins. I was looking forward to the second story, entitled “Kali of the Night.” Kali, is the Hindu goddess of destruction. She is associated with time, change, removing the old and aiding one in implementing the new. Fitting, I thought for the story to follow a “Kundalini awakening.”
Imagine my surprise when I found out that the Kali Dinsmoor referred to was a woman who waked into a yoga class. A woman that Dinsmoor described as, “a feral feline. . .dark and sexy she-creature of the night.” Still I persisted in believing there may be a metaphorical connection to Kali, the goddess, and his Kundalini experience. No such luck. By the end of the story, Dinsmoor had finagled a lunch date with the girl, described their mad email liaison, and ended with their relationship drifting off into nothingness. Well, I suppose that could have a meditative angle.
The rest of the book contains other such stories, most of which include sightings of females and his interest in the curvy creatures. He offers some interesting glimpses into his travels, but only scratches the superficial surface of those experiences. Then Dinsmoor closes out the book with stories of his childhood that are not connected to his yoga. Perhaps Dinsmoor’s intent for the book was more comedic in nature, given his past writing acknowledgments. Bottom line, if you are looking for something more akin to the spiritual journey of a Yogi, you will not find that here. You will, however, find lots of allusions to the intrigue of the female form and some slightly comic romps through Dinsmoor’s life – many with a good foundation. It is a pity that Dinsmoor did not more aptly build upon those foundations.
Rene Schwiesow is the co-host of the popular South Shore poetry venue, The Art of Words in Plymouth, MA.