Wear Cool Clothes and Don’t Be an Ass: A Brief Yoga Manifesto.

Via on Feb 17, 2012

Have more than one reason to come to the mat. A single motivation is not enough. And some days it’s okay if a new yoga top is the thing that gets you to practice.

Respect your mat. But only so much. The mat wasn’t a hallowed space before it was yours. And though it may be sacred, the mat doesn’t have a monopoly on yoga.

World Globe
Photo: Ashley Thalman

Take what you need. It’s perfectly all right to build a smorgasbord practice, drawing from various yoga disciplines and philosophies.

Fall. It’s cool to fall out of poses and then laugh your ass off. Taking a practice too seriously is a breeding ground for inauthenticity. In yoga, seriousness has its place and time. And that time is not all the time.

Don’t give in to yoga snobbery. Accept yoga for where it is now. Don’t whine or preach about staying true to yoga’s roots. Just as a personal practice evolves (for the better, yo), so has yoga over its thousands of years. It’s expanded. It accommodates more people. Don’t shun them, no matter how westernized their practice. Dude, it’s their practice.

Respect other yogis paths. Respect how they choose to approach the discipline, where they elect to put their focus, and in what order they discover and nurture asana, pranayama, and meditation.

Be nice. Or at least try. Though there is no single right way to be a yogi, a central tenet for every yogi should be that they strive for kindness, both to The Self and to others.

Practice the right kind of acceptance. Though the most basic element of yogic acceptance must begin with The Self, it is not an acceptance of resignation—it is an acceptance of the way things are as a place from which to evolve.

Don’t force it. Forcing meditation and desperately seeking depth can result in the kind of artifice that leads folks to mislabel yoga as a pile of useless new-agey metaphysical bullshit.

Yoga aesthetics
Photo: Ashley Thalman

Let yourself enjoy the aesthetics. A pose is just that: a pose. Any transcendent benefits come from what the practitioner brings to the posture. It’s okay to admire the visual art of yoga, to be awed by what the body can do. Yoga is beautiful, and ignoring that is absurd.

If you’re healthy, embrace it. Yoga can be about healing, but c’mon, we aren’t all constantly broken. There are times we need healing and there are times that we’re already enjoying a state of well-being. In both places yoga feeds us, individualizing our edification.

Learn to understand your body’s language. Love it enough to listen. And then give. Give it what it needs. With yoga your body will become a more comfortable living space, and you’ll discover you’ve been given more to give.

Author has been given permission to use photos from: Ashley Thalman Photography.

About Megan Romo

Megan Romo gave up a few weeks into yoga teacher training when she realized that she’s too selfish to focus on anyone else’s practice but her own. She’s not ashamed of that anymore. Instead she likes to call it a honed self awareness born of years on the mat. Follow Megan’s little he-cheated-and-left-our-10-year-marriage healing journey and other things that are sometimes interesting and dramatic but sometimes just normal person stuff on her blog remarksfromsparks.com.

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24 Responses to “Wear Cool Clothes and Don’t Be an Ass: A Brief Yoga Manifesto.”

  1. Tatum Bacchi tatumann says:

    "Wear cool clothes and don't be an ass." Megan, with your permission, I'd like to adopt this as my philosophy for yoga and for life! Love this! I love my studio because I'm allowed to fall and laugh and it's not so serious all the time. Too many people forget that sometimes, yoga can be just plain fun!

  2. Tatum Bacchi tatumann says:

    "Wear cool clothes and don't be an ass" Megan, with your permission, I would like to adopt this as my philosophy for yoga and for life. I love this piece! I love that I found a studio that is open to laughter and having fun with yoga.

    • Megan Romo meganromo says:

      Ha! You're right, it would be a good little life philosophy! Congrats on finding a friendly yoga home. Auditioning studios can be a lengthy process, but when you find one that best suits your—well, it was worth all the work! Cheers!

  3. breathingoutismile says:

    Great article, thanks for the bullshit free attitude and a good laugh. jx

  4. Fleabag says:

    Inspiring….I may be getting back into yoga as a result of this. No joke!

  5. karlsaliter says:

    Nothing but net! Just posted to Elephant Spirituality on Facebook.

  6. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  7. Frankie says:

    love your writing style. succinct and so great, love it :)

  8. Yogatchr says:

    I love the smorgasbord, "don't force it" ,and "If you’re healthy, embrace it. Yoga can be about healing, but c’mon, we aren’t all constantly broken". These are inclusive qualities and I feel yoga should be just that. An you are very entertaining Megan Romo.

  9. karlsaliter says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

  10. Joe Sparks says:

    Great article! I love it when a writer gets to the point, makes me chuckle and makes me nod my head! This would make a great speech! Please continue to write, this was refreshing!

    • Megan Romo meganromo says:

      Thanks, Joe. I appreciate it. Getting to the point more quickly is my little game as of late. Personally, I hate to click on a post and see that it's just long, long, long. I want to be more concise. I'm glad it worked this time.

      And I can't help but keep writing—I'm working through a graduate degree in writing and one of these days my writing had better start paying its own way! Thank you again!

    • Megan Romo meganromo says:

      Thank you, Joe! I appreciate the compliment. I'll surely keep on writing—just try to stop me!

  11. Yay!!!! You're back!! Loved the title, it says it all (but yes, I did read the rest :)

    Moving it to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage so that it hangs around a long time!

    Braja Sorensen
    Lost & Found in India
    Editor, Elephant Spirituality
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

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