A Collapse Yoga session starts with easy, simple postures on which more complex yoga and collapse aspects are gradually added. The yoga elements are attention to breathing, active relaxation, postures that challenge flexibility, balance and strength. Other elements, as the aim for symmetry, elongation, straightening, uprighting, harmony are corrupted or replaced with collapse – weakness, crooking, asymmetry, melting down. Collapse Yoga integrates and works with states and situations like: depression, anxiety, sickness, hopelessness, old age, renouncement, exhaustion, pessimism, decrepitude, falling apart, failure... with their corresponding body traces. Many Collapse Yoga poses are starting from an embodiment of one of these situations on which yoga elements are gradually added. The collapse elements could be related to collapsing bodies in art history, popular culture or other contexts.
(Western) Yoga, like many other somatic practices, has an improving, purifying, positive feel, a personal growth tone, an aspirational and healthy thinking esthetic. Collapse Yoga is a technique attuned to a serenity potential but also to the presence of collapse, in our society and in our lives. It is implicitly commenting on the fact that there is ideology and politics in the body. And that too much insistence on a certain correctness, purity, straightness and positivity could be politically problematic.
Collapse Yoga explores the insertion of the collapse elements not just conceptually or in terms of representation but also in terms of embodiment of its contradictions. What happens to yoga if you add conflicting collapse attitudes and emotions to the implicit yoga ones? And what happens to the collapse states and emotions if you formalize them through a yoga technique and attitude? What if by doing Collapse Yoga, aside from the mental and physical health benefits, you create openings for affecting perceptions and sensibilities? In a twisted and paradoxical way this would be a return to the traditional Yoga ambitions of being much more than a healthy sport.