By Sri Captain Skully Das
I am a non-violent yoga teacher. To some people I am even a Guru. Unfortunately, many people cannot see me for what I am, because they can’t look beyond the fact that I supposedly look like a pirate.
I am not a pirate, I do not sail the high seas and pillage. My proper first name is Captain, because my parents had high hopes for me. Because of this, and my unique appearance, many people assume I’m a pirate, or a pirate-wannabe. I only want to help everyone connect to their divine source, and in doing so I NEVER hijack boats or bury gold.
Going deep with no depth
Although I don’t totally see it, I can kind of understand where people think that I look like a pirate. I mean, I do have an earring. I used to be a skateboarder when I was a kid, so getting an earring was just part of the punk image I had going. I do regret that phase though, because I was in a mosh pit at a Black Flag concert and someone’s Dock Marten spur poked out my eye.
With only one eye, I do not have depth perception. Because of this flaw, random yoga students have complained that my yoga adjustments are either too gentle or too hard. Apparently I can’t tell when I’ve pushed a brand new student all the way into a full forward fold, head to shins.
But that’s not how I see it. Just because I have an earring, they don’t have to judge me.
Transformed by a Pilates reformer
Because I lost my depth perception when my eye was poked out, my parents bought me a wide, black felt hat to shield my head, especially my temples. They cared so much, they bought me the hat on the way home from the drug store where they got me my first eye patch. It is this same compassion that I seek to share with my students.
For years I wouldn’t wear my special hat until I bumped into a Pilates reformer machine, got my right hand stuck, and lost the whole forearm. At first I thought of getting a prosthetic hand, but instead my parents talked me into getting a more hygienic stainless steel hook. Turns out it works better for props, like in an Iyengar class.
And also, the hook is a perfect roost for my seeing-eye parrot. I got a parrot because I’m not really a dog person. Also, since I’m not totally blind, I didn’t think I’d need all the frills of a mammal. But Polly, she will screech if I’m about to bump into something.
Some students have complained that my bird goes to the bathroom on their yoga mats while I’m adjusting them. But I wish they would just make up their minds. Do they want me to push them too far into poses, or do they want to obsess about a little bird poo? Hey, it’s good luck!
Lonely at the top
As a spiritual being, I am well familiar with making sacrifices. However, the hardest thing to accept is having small yoga classes. People judge me based on their idea of what a spiritual guide should look like, and apparently it isn’t me. I’m not some hot-bodied woman or an earthy but not swarthy male. No, I’m swarthy. I’ll never be in a Lulumelon yogawear advertisement or be asked to chant the sutras at a yoga conference.
In fact, when I do have stray students who wander in, or when I get students who didn’t know that I’m the substitute teacher, they actually complain about my chanting. I love to chant but I have a very guttural voice and a tendency to over pronounce my “R”s due a strong acid reflex. It’s sounds as though I’m trying to gargle but have a dry throat.
Suggestions for self-improvement
Before we part, I’d like to share with you my favorite suggestions for self-improvement. I will write them phonetically, the way that I say them.
- ARRRdapadmasana. Half-lotus. A great hip opener.
- ARRRRdashandrasana. Half-moon pose. A great balancing pose and hip opener.
- Read the “Whey of The Peaceful wArrrrior.” A book that changes diets.
- Learn about kArrrrrma and dhArrrrrma. These Buddhist principals actually fit into most religions. Buddha didn’t teach a mutually exclusive religion.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana: Plank Pose. I love planks, always have. Before skateboarding I used to walk the balance beam in gymnastics.
Although I’m victimized by prejudice, I can at least sleep well at night knowing this is someone else’s loss, not mine. I’m doing the best I can to spread spirituality. Just please don’t assume you know me from my snarl and privateer-style bandleaders jacket.
Photo credit: Alaskan Dude/flickr (Frank Kovalchek)
Thanks for reading this satirical comedy blog!