Yoga: No Checklist Required. ~ Taya Smythe

Via on Jan 11, 2013

set your imagination free

I have a secret to tell you.

It’ll be shocking. Revealing. Astounding. It’s going to be heavy, okay?

Following the checklist doesn’t work.

Holy shit! Miraculous new concept!

The checklist really doesn’t work, not even for the yogis, myself included.

Funny enough, with all my whims about non-attachment and living in the moment, I’ve had the checklist. I’ve arranged to travel to practice with specific teachers. I’ve found crazy arm balances that I’ve convinced myself were meant for the Yoga Sutras even though they actually come from maybe (if I’m lucky) 80 years ago.

Taya Smythe
Taya Smythe

I’ve acquired mala beads, mantras handed down, extra anatomy texts and I’ve vowed to enroll in other trainings. I’ve looked into the other kinds of degrees that could facilitate a furthering of the practice.

And I’ve checked all of it off, man. I did good.

That last “X” through the bottom task, though, brought an interesting realization. Having assumed that switching out a college education for teacher trainings, running for an asana practice, and boutique jewelry for japa beads would give me the edge over all those non-yogis who seem to have it all wrong, I put myself in a new box!

The checklist is still the checklist. And what a wonderful recognition that is!

Yoga, in an authentic definition, is absolutely no requirement.

Yes, I will fill my cup so I may serve. Yes, when right action shows me to a teacher or an immersion weekend, I will dive in.

However, in laying out obligation and expectation, even in a yoga checklist, I might as well go back to that half-hearted attempt at state university or to compressing the joints with a running path or buying all that shiny silver which, in fact, is produced in bulk overseas.

We can strive and strive all we care to, but if all we ever do is sit and breathe and connect to the experience happening right in front of us, then there is the possibility we will live incredibly.

Shocking. Revealing. Astounding. The present moment is absolutely all there is.

Though extremely grateful for time with my teachers, handstands, and mala wristlets; when ego started to seep in, sitting and breathing was where I found the connection, and the happiness that the checklist was striving to achieve.



 Taya SmytheA practitioner of yoga since the age of 16, Taya Smythe is a writer, photographer, teacher, student, and lover that lives practicing yoga on and off the mat. She currently resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana, working as both a group and private instructor, and the manager at Pranayoga School of Health. “I believe that what serves us is in front of us. I believe that we see fear get in the way. I believe bliss happens in embracing this very moment. Every day I am sharing this concept with others and with myself.” For more information about Taya, check out or follow her on Facebook.


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3 Responses to “Yoga: No Checklist Required. ~ Taya Smythe”

  1. I remember what Gurunam Singh said Saturday morning, well at least a paraphrase. There are two ways, mastering technique, or mastering the attitude. A lot of times I get caught up in bigger, faster, stronger–that quarterly projection chart that travels up and to the right at a steady 45 degrees. Fuck that chart. And fuck all that shit I think I should do because it will make me a "better" person.
    Rock on Taya

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