The Must-Read Book Club
Juliet Glassroth: I am extremely lucky in that I am privy to Marzullo's teachings on a regular basis. I eagerly anticipated this book for weeks before it was published. But once I saw the incredible—some might even say irreverent—cover, I was blown away. Whiskey, ciggies, red meat, and a condom?! When else in our yogic lives do we see such supposed sacrilege?
YCNYC: Favorite quote?
JG: “The trouble with how we’re often being taught yoga is that we’re not asked to examine what our dharma really is; more likely, we’re told what is dharmic (e.g. be good), but what is considered dharmic by some will be seen as adharmic (evil) by others. Who’s to say what is the right course of action for any human being? We don’t know what is right or wrong. We have agreements on behavior that help maintain a certain level of order, but we actually don’t know what is ultimately good or bad in the universe. Good is usually defined by subjective criteria—whether or not it makes my life easier or happy—but what is good for me might be bad for you. We’re all so addicted to feeling satiated and validated that we can’t be trusted to understand what is good for ourselves, never mind anyone else.”
YCNYC: What one person would you recommend this book to?
JG: There are messages here that are no doubt going to set some people off—particularly those who tend to see things in a black-and-white context. I tend to be one of those people myself. I like everything in a neat little cubby hole with a clear label. But my guess is that true spirituality really doesn’t work that way. Marzullo is asking us to use a slightly more complex, perhaps more sophisticated, lens to looking at things. And I think that’s something that anyone in the modern yoga community could use right about now.
YCNYC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?
JG: The retelling and analysis of Hindu myths is Marzullo's preferred method for getting his message across. These stories are not like the classic fairy tales where the guy in the white hat wins the day and gets the girl. They are far more nuanced; sometimes a demon has admirable qualities and sometimes gods are deeply flawed. That just isn’t the way we think of things here in the West. So, the myth of Gunanidhi— not the nicest person in the world, by a long shot—honestly hurts my brain. It certainly doesn’t end in a way that Disney would have written it. But if we open our minds up to accept that the big picture plan is so far beyond our human comprehension, we will also open ourselves up to a far deeper level of faith.
You can purchase Bad Yogi: A Guidebook for the Rest of Us here.
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