When I was in yoga yesterday my teacher, to paraphrase, told us to let go of whatever we are , mothers, fathers, accountants, sons, sisters, lawyers, students, yogis, foodies…the list went on. The point was to be in the moment and in your yoga practice; however, it got me thinking about the imagined communities presentation in class. I started to think, what commonalities form imagined communities.
People in class giggled when she said foodies, or yogis. Why was this? To be a father, a son, a sister etc… there is little need for a community. Every man is a son, and every woman is a daughter. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that in order for an imagined community to exist, there must be a need. Perhaps even a sense of minority. People giggled when they heard foody because they thought, “wow, I thought I was the only one.” People maintained a straight face when they heard son, because, well their neighbor, and neighbor’s neighbor was also a son. And again they giggled when she said yogi, because, me personally I wonder if people at work see me walk out with my yoga mat and automatically put me into this group too?
I’m taking a roundabout way here to explain my thoughts; however, what I’m getting at is that an imagined community comes around when there is a need for it. The question is: when does this need become so great that a community arises? When do you need to join the “yogi” community – and trust me, this is a community. Or the “foody” community? Is it when normal people just don’t understand?
It seems to me like if you need a community you can find it. Perhaps that idea of the melting pot isn’t so accurate. Nobody really needs to melt into a certain community; they can just moderately adjust, but go home at night to their own community that keeps them comfortable.
It’s a schizoid world out there. You can be a part of so many different communities that it’s hard to just choose three, like we were asked to do in class yesterday. Me, I’m a fundraiser, a yoga practicer and a woman. But let me tell you, I can’t tell you the number of times I accidently try to go to work in my yoga pants!