Confession: I’m Afraid of Commitment.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Jan 9, 2013
get elephant's newsletter

savasana kate

I’m a loyal person as far as other people go.

No commitment issues there.

But with yoga, I’ve never been able to commit to one particular style or lineage. I’m kind of a yoga…okay, I’m going to go with “mutt” and not for any feminist reasons around the term, but “slut” to me implies sloppy, and that’s just not me. But mixed? Definitely.

I used to be a serial Groupon yoga girl, until I learned as a massage therapist just how little Groupon actually pays people. And I have one studio near me that I love (and found that one of our wonderful elephants owns it!) but don’t visit often enough. I have a pretty small window weekdays that I like to use for my practice, and it’s tough to find the class I want that fits.

Then I’ve done the fill-in-the-blank yoga thing. Acroyoga. I’ve gone to Restorative classes. Kundalini. Vinyasa flavor-of-the-week.

And I’ve done the “yoga at the gym” thing, with mixed results. I know some wonderful yoga teachers who teach at gyms. And I’ve also been to some yoga classes at gyms where I wanted to adjust the instructor’s alignment.

Maybe it’s not that I’m a yoga mutt; maybe I’m more of a yoga Goldilocks.

I don’t want it too hot. I want it at a certain time of the morning. I want a strong, well led class that will support my home practice. I want it to challenge me—physically and mentally. I think I need to do what my Ashtangi friends have been telling me for years and join them.

But, then, that would probably require me to do the grown up thing and commit.

Well Ashtangi brothers and sisters? Do I give it a go?

If you’ve always been curious or intimidated or wondered about how to start an Ashtanga practice, Claudia Azul Altucher has some great suggestions (which I asked her about a year ago and then continued to slut it up all over the place.)

So this morning’s practice? The primary series, naturally. It really makes me feel like I’ve earned my Savasana time (see above). I don’t recommend interrupting your beautiful rest with Instagramming.

I do recommend pairing it with this:

What was your practice like today? Are you doing #yogaeverydamnday this month? Check back for my updates and follow along on Twitter @kate_bartolotta and Pinterest.

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.


About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on and Barnes & She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


24 Responses to “Confession: I’m Afraid of Commitment.”

  1. Thaddeus1 says:

    Come to the dark side….The only thing to fear is what you'll find inside.

  2. I think you're doing the right thing! Also remember that, as is true with any type of yoga, nobody's Ashtanga practice is like everyone else's! At the studio, I always feel the pressure to work my way through the whole primary series, to the best of my ability. But at home, it's a whole different thing! I've developed a "Malin series", which is 90% primary, 10% my favorite poses, a couple of extra counts here and there, sometimes a pause to get my dog away from my mat…!

    Do what I do – continue your home practice and hit the studio now and then for some variation and to straighten yourself out a little! :)

  3. Jenn Lui says:

    In my almost 20 years of doing yoga, i've tried just about every style i could possibly get access to. I mean it was required to try out all the styles that were offered at the yoga studio that i worked at for a few years, however I gotta say that I am one biased yogini. Ashtanga has been the practice that once I started I never looked back. It's like home to me and has been for the bulk of all my years in my asana practice. It's like when you mentioned that after a good primary series you really feel like you've earned your savasana. well I feel the same every time i complete whatever Ashtanga series i'm doing and lay on my back and let myself melt into the floor. it's one of the best feelings ever and I only get that level of savasana-ness with Ashtanga. And don't get me started on how awesome I find the actual flow of the asanas… the fabulously timed counter poses, the challenge in the vinyasas, the Ujjayi breath throughout… If I went on, this would surely become a love letter to my Ashtaga practice. Haha! So you see I'm heavily biased 😉 and hey that's just me. Although I would never miss an opportunity to try something new or something else, and often times when I don't have the time for a full series, I'll go right ahead and adjust it for whatever amount of time I do have. Even if that means just doing the sun salutations. I mean any yoga is better than no yoga right?

    Commit to Ashtanga? I say give it a go, why not? If it turns out to be amazing then it's a win, if not then slutting it up yoga style will surely turn you onto a practice that you might be willing to commit to. Or having a diverse practice might very well be your practice. Like I said, isn't any yoga better than no yoga? Whatever works and gets you on the mat :)

    Wishing you all the best Kate, much love!

  4. carrie tyler says:

    Kate – I say be a yoga whore. You don't have to commit. Do what feels right that day. I cheat on my own methodology all the time and I encourage my teachers to do the same!! It makes us all better teachers and practitioners. It's what keeps Rasamaya evolving rather than being stagnant. If I don't push my own boundaries who will?

    I don't believe in a one shoe fits all mentality. If you are practicing from an authentic place, well then that is good enough.


  5. […] Confession: I’m Afraid of Commitment. ( […]

  6. Thaddeus1 says:

    Of course, the one small problem with being a "whore" is that you increase your chance of getting diseases. As Guruji use to say, "One doctor, healing coming. Many doctors, death coming." Or something along those lines.

  7. Carrie Tyler says:

    Oh… I just can't resist replying.. yoga debates just tickle me pink.

    I agree with you about "not bringing the practice down to them instead of attempting to achieve the standards of the practice." I don't propose doing only what feels good. In fact, I propose the exact opposite. Speaking from a scientific and an ayurvedic perspective it is known that we tend to as humans chase that which comes naturally to us. Tons of books have been written on this very topic. This is why (to be general) so many type A's are drawn to power style practices. What we often need is the opposite of what we are drawn to do. The answer (in my opinion) lies in finding the balance of meeting yourself where you are at, and then knowing when to push past, and when to pull back. It is in meeting ashtanga with restorative, or ashtanga with iyengar. Bottom line – you have to journey inside and face what's within. On that my friend, we agree.

    As for the exercise science comment, I wholely disagree. The merger of western and yogic sciences is a hopeful future in my book. l love to collaborate with scientists, they are the great searchers of the world. Yogis of old scripture were scientists too, and often scoffed by society I might add. I have worked with several scientists of varying disciplines and keep an advisory board for my school. They are wonderful (well the ones that believe in yoga are). They question everything, and they hypothesize, and in doing such they must accept the idea that their theories can be wrong on a daily basis. It challenges my own notions of right or wrong as well – If that's not yogic I don't know what is.


  8. Carrie Tyler says:

    And so at the end of any debate, as is so often true… we find we are fighting for the same truth. Hope to cross paths at some point friend!

  9. […] since I’ve decided to commit to Ashtanga, I thought it would be appropriate to get traditional and do a castor oil bath today. […]

  10. […] though, as I’ve said, I’m afraid of commitment, I am taking a weekly led Primary Series to enhance my practice. Sure, I’m still going to have […]

  11. […] year, I am excited about a variety of classes. For strengthening my Ashtanga practice, I’m looking forward to David Swenson’s All Aboard the Ashtanga Train. For my […]

  12. Jasmine says:

    Thanks for posting I love Radio Head but I never heard this song! Also I havent listened to them for a while.

Leave a Reply