In the many lives I have lived in this body, or shall I say – the many relationships I have had with the opposite sex, the comment – “You yoga people are crazy!” has been something I have heard more than once.
I would typically hear it right about the time when I was about to lose it, found a little vrtti and was completely attached to it, you know…like a normal human being. For some reason, society and the yoga community itself has propped up the word “YOGI” on a pedestal to mean that we should be living on some paranormal level, high and mighty, looking down with compassion and kindness at all of the suffering in the world.
Well, I have a confession to make.
For me, yoga took the place of xanax and anti-depressants. And, to this very day, my practice remains my medicine.
And, even when I do take my “medicine” on a daily basis, life happens and the very last thing I want someone to do when I am being a 100% human being, is accuse me of being a “crazy yogi.” My ego is beautifully strong and my practice helps me to become aware of it. My ego also suggests that I best get to class because my thighs are not are sculpted as they were two months ago when I was on the mat five times per week. I know my place. It is in the world.
I have another confession to make. In the beginning of these failed love affairs I would flaunt my flexibility around like Shakti looking to manifest the creation of a new universe – bat my legs behind my head and wear my cutest and tightest fitting yoga pants around my beautifully sculpted ass – thinking Samadhi was found somewhere between the sheets and pincha mayurasana.
As time went on, I would evolve back towards my true nature, away from this “love seeking”, an art I almostmastered…. And I would slowly and painfully realize that this yoga thing, you know UNION, well -the books and teachers were right… It really DOES MEAN union within your Self. ahhhhhh HA! Now time to pry my heart off of someone else’s (enter LOTS and LOTS of meaningful yoga practices and lots and lots of therapy.)
What does this have to do with anything? Well, I could be standing on my own little island here, there is a chance that I just outed myself for life with any cool yoga clubs like Elephant Journal or Yoga Dork—but if listening to my True Self whisper in the slightest, over my 33 years in this body on the planet—I am going to go out on a limb and say that there is a possibility that from time to time we have all gotten caught up in our own self-serving definition of this word – Yoga. That we have misrepresented it in some way – maybe even knowingly, to try and escape some deeper emptiness or suffering inside ourselves.
Have I just admitted I am crazy? Or, have I just confessed that I am 100% human in the flesh.
Maybe Krishamacharya was right. He never wanted to be called a Guru. He never wanted to be called a yogi for that matter. He did not believe that we need to use the crutch of any name or title to know the Self, be healthy and be balanced in this life. Well, of course he is right -but as a culture of people in human bodies striving to lead a spiritual existance – we chose a different way. We chose to look upon teachers as answers and Yoga clothes as The Middle Way. We asked for it. We asked for those outside our ommmm’ing circles to question our decision to wear a mala and chant for inner peace when greed, jealousy, gluttony and the five other deadly sins show up in relationships, work, etc. and then become utterly sick of us (remember.. “You Yoga People are CRAZY!”) when we declare ourselves Divine and just trying to “work” on our attachments and issues.
I cannot sum up this post in one beautiful sentence that makes me feel better about the above information that now reads back to me as TMI. I can’t be anything other than myself and be honest with myself as I have traveled down my own path. The times I have fallen or been broken, they have hurt… a lot. I have all of the books folks and for the most part – I do see the bigger picture and then live in the small details, working towards living a mindful, conscious life with a daily dose of practice in whatever form shows up. And… Yogi, Guru, Teacher… or NOT, I think most of us on the planet are doing the same thing.
Call me crazy…. just sayin.’
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