There’s a whole raft of them out there, the ‘convertibles’, laptops that flip around to become tablets (like iPads) and do most other things besides. My attention was caught by the Lenovo version, which calls itself the ‘Yoga’.
Really? How did that happen? Did they have a naming agency or just a marketing or product development department, and which bright spark was it who thought it would be a good idea to call a computer ‘Yoga’? Are they all spiritual seekers, the guys in the Lenovo marketing or product development departments, determined that their new product should bring as much benefit to its users’ lives as regular practice of an ancient discipline of mind, body and spirit? Do they know the original meaning of the Sanskrit word – ‘yoga’ = ‘yoke’ or connection – and if they do, is that why they gave it that name: to suggest inherent, natural and seamless connectivity?
Whichever, however, whoever or whatever, it gives me the creeps. A computer called Yoga, indeed. But then I ask myself: ‘Why this reaction?’ Is it because yoga is in some sense holy and its name should not be appropriated for earthly, nay commercial, reasons? Is it because ‘Yoga’ means (to me, at least) everything that computers don’t, because it occupies a space where computers will never be needed, never make any sense, never have any relevance?
Is there some kind of revulsion at this inopportune mixing of the sacred and profane? Nope, not specially. I don’t think many people think of Yoga, the word, the concept or the practice, as sacred; holiness can happen, sure, if you practice it right, but Yoga shouldn’t be on a pedestal, revered, feared, distant and inaccessible. It’s right here right now for anyone to use.
Which is ultimately the point, I suppose. A computer called Yoga might make a few people like me ponder the wisdom of the naming policy, but Yoga the word, concept or practice is unharmed. No damage has been done to Yoga by the Lenovo Yoga. It’s probably put the word Yoga in people’s mouths where you wouldn’t normally find it, which can’t be all bad. Still feels weird to me though, a mis-connection. What’s next? A TV called Satori? Now there’s an idea…