Social Media,  Uncategorized

It Wasn’t Starbucks and It Wasn’t Ashtanga

You have probably heard about the incident at a Starbucks where the cops were called on two Black men who were sitting at a table doing nothing. Shortly after, I was on Instagram and I noticed the hashtag, #boycottstarbucks. Why? But it wasn’t Starbucks. It was someone at one Starbucks. It would be one thing if Starbucks as a corporation, had a culture of racism but that has not been proven.  Maybe boycott that particular Starbucks. I could understand that. But boycott all Starbucks?

This is like saying “ a Black person hurt me”, #boycottblackpeople.

It is like saying Trump’s views are a representation of everyone in America #boycottamerica.

It is also the same as saying that the actions of a few people represent all of Ashtanga #boycottashtanga.

It is human nature to let one spot block out the whole entire sun.  It is up to us what we focus on.  As we work in the world to wipe out injustice, to speak for the victims of tragedies, and to bring darkness to light, it is important to remember that there is always more good in the world than bad. If we become jaded and bitter, so does our world. Open your eyes, not just to those who have done wrong, but to those who have not.  The Yoga Sutras tells us to delight in the virtuous and to have equanimity with the wicked.

Don’t take the righteous for granted. When was the last time you said, “Thank you” to that person in your life who is a rock? That person who does what they say they are going to do. Maybe it is the girl who makes your latte who took the time to remember your name.  Maybe it is the unexciting local yoga teacher who opens the doors every day whether there are 3 students or 300 students. Maybe it is the guy who mows your lawn.

One of my teachers says that enlightenment is ordinary. Most of us probably wouldn’t know an enlightened person if they lived right next door because we are looking for something extraordinary. It could totally be your Uber driver or the school crossing guard. Our attention usually goes to the people who, well, are looking for the most attention themselves.

Seth Goldin-A Slow Motion Train Wreck

“We like the flawed hero, bad behavior, tragedy and drama in our fictional characters.

Batman and Deadpool sell far more tickets than Superman does.

If we use social media to attract a crowd, we will, at some level, become a fictional character. Reality shows aren’t about reality–they’re shows.

Which means that it’s tempting to become the sort of trainwreck that people like to watch and jeer and root for.

Personally, and for our brand as well.

Every time DC tries to make Superman more popular, they create drama that isn’t inherent in who he is. Brands fall into this trap all the time.

For a long time, people would confirm that they’d rather watch a flawed character, but deep down, they’d like to be Superman. Because his humility, kindness and resilient mental health are a perfect match for his unlimited powers. Unfortunately, as we’ve turned our lives into a reality show, more people seem happier emphasizing their mess.

It’s probably a bad idea to vote for, work for or marry a trainwreck. They belong on screen, not in real life.

Everyone has some Superman in them. But it takes emotional labor and hard work to reclaim it.”

Celebrate the virtuous. Don’t throw out what is good for what is bad. Reclaim the good.


Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail