Yes, I’m a Serious Yogi, But I Still Do These 6 Things.

Via on Jun 20, 2013

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I hope that my beloved elephant editors will still love me after this one.

I feel like I’m writing a blog that straight away sets me up for non-success with my fellow yoga and wellness community.

Yet here it is—a list of six things that I still do even though I consider myself a die-hard yogi.

1. Drink alcohol. For me, figuring out how to be a moderate drinker is, and probably always will be, a lifetime dance.

Alcoholism runs in my family and I’ve seen it destroy lives. Still, I can’t deny that a pint of the hoppiest ale that I can stand or a glass of an interesting wine turns me on. So, I’ve dedicated myself to the practice of mindful drinking—almost as much as I’ve dedicated myself to my mindful yoga practice.

2. I get angry. I might be the Hulk. Cute, friendly, bubbly even. Yet, wow, am I ever a Scorpio— because the people who truly know me understand that I can adrenaline rage with the best of them.

And it’s not that I don’t want to change; that I’m not seeking self-betterment (or enlightenment, for that matter). Because I do (want to change and be enlightened)! Yet I have a temper. Yep, there it is.

3. I Enjoy Exercise Sans Yoga Mat. (Sans as in without.) I received my Johnny-G Spinning certification in my third trimester of pregnancy—for real. (It was pretty hilarious for those present, trust me.) I also have a Nordic Track, circa 1980-whatever, and I regularly hike on trails in the gorgeously hilly terrain where I live. So, yoga mat, I love you, I need you—but I’m seeing someone else.

4. I eat bacon—and I like it. This is the one on the list that I think might divorce me from the other elephants, the ones who make my everyday life special. Long story cut short (and, if you know me in the slightest, this is extremely difficult for me to do), I was a vegetarian for well over a decade—actually, my husband was almost afraid to marry me when I began eating meat right before our nuptials. (Remember, ladies, men don’t want you to change after they’ve proposed.) I digress.

Again, the long and short of it is (I warned you that this was going to be a challenge) that, as much as it disturbs me, my body needs meat. There you have it.

Considering that when I was a vegetarian—to the utmost degree, mind you—one of my biggest turnoffs was other solo veggie-eaters who wore leather or ate gelatin (you get the point), it’s important to keep in mind that I’ve long been a proponent of using the entire animal if you do need utilize this form of protein within your diet.

As it turns out, (uncured) bacon (from the farm down the street) is delicious. (I promise, I love—and respect—you, fellow vegan elephants!)

5. I curse—like a sailor. I embarrass my husband, yet sadly not myself. I’m not sure if I need explain this one further.

6. I listen to angsty music. Recently I shared on Facebook that my two-and-a-half year old loves hard-core bands like Rage Against the Machine—and that this has re-connected me with my more rebellious nature (which, to be honest, she innately shares with me—thank God). Anyways, this little Facebook status update of mine didn’t receive much commentary (not unusual, I’m a geek)—but it did get me thinking about my sharing of this personal information, especially since I rarely divulge much about my daughter in writing.

Here’s the conclusion that I’ve come to—I would rather my tiny lady hear music that poses important questions (although potentially riddled with occasional cuss words) than to never hear it at all. So there you go. (Sorry, yogis.)

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this with you. I’m not an exhibitionist—I can barely wear a tank top while hiking on the towpath.

I guess it’s because one of my major pet peeves in life is people who are not authentic. So here it is, laid out on the table—a few things about the “real” me, a yoga lover.

Of course, another reason that I wrote this is that I honestly get extremely tired of yogic snobbery—the this-is-the-only-way-life-exists-and-one-can-achieve-enlightenment mentality.

I’m okay with who I am, maybe you aren’t, and I’m thick-skinned enough for that to bother me—for a minute or two before I mentally tell you to bugger off.

Regardless, there are some things that people won’t easily cough up—because they’re afraid you’ll judge them.

How about this: I promise not to tell on you if you won’t tell on me. (Because we all have parts of our personality that we don’t want put on display.)

But I will, put mine on display. But only for you. If you don’t tell.

Namaste.

 

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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She's also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people that ever lived and she's also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor's degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer then make sure to check out her writing, as she's finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer's first book, The Best Day of Your Life, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and on her website.

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164 Responses to “Yes, I’m a Serious Yogi, But I Still Do These 6 Things.”

  1. shakticharel says:

    wow, its as if i wrote that myself ! So glad to hear that there's others out there on the same wave length. Many feel that we should walking around in white robes…..

  2. Dawna says:

    I am not a die hard yogi, but I do have a regular practice and I identify with the basic principles. This article could have been written about me. Striving to be patient, kind, understanding and enlightened… But BAM! Do NOT push me over the edge! (Scorpio rising) I will make several attempts to warn you, but if you do, you will most likely be shocked by the intensity of my anger.
    I try to listen to relaxing music most of the time, but there are times when a little Rage or Disturbed are in order. And you can even find me at a small venue playing on the edge of the mosh pit. I eat meat, drink the occasional dark beer and sometimes, I even cuss like a sailor. A habit that formed during my divorce and has been more difficult to break than I would have thought.
    Still,… There is nothing that compares to the peace in my heart created by yoga, and I am constantly telling people about the benefits of even a few minutes a day. Without yoga, my body would not allow me to do crossfit, kickbox, or run. All of which I enjoy as much as yoga itself.
    Thank you for your authenticity! It is nice to know that in the end we are all human. We all have our daily struggles or just behaviors that we enjoy and embrace. We are all many faceted beings. Thank you for being, and sharing your unique self. I wouldn't want you any other way!
    Namaste!

  3. Jean H says:

    I don't know how you practice ahimsa and eat meat. The act of unnecessary killing for food because you like the taste is abhorrent. Animals are divine beings who are tortured their entire life to provide a mouthful of pleasure. So many of the comments seem to admire you for being honest and authentic, I suspect because it gives them license to continue a selfish path. Give up the booze and it might help you get on the path.

  4. Lollie says:

    I think if you want to be technical then no, you are no a yogi in the sense of the ancient text,etc. That's okay. You are a present day American yogi who seems to inspire others through your gift of writing and teaching. Ego seems to be all up in the middle of this and that's actually okay too. I am on board with the moderation approach, and I have been involved with yoga and teaching for 14 years. I am a meat eater (Paleo diet makes me feel good) and occasionally will have a drink. Life is good. Lollie

  5. Lisa says:

    Entertaining, well-written article. Thanks for your candor. You ARE a serious yogi.

  6. Tom says:

    Thanks for the great article! I love yoga, but always felt a bit out of place. My body doesn't like a vegetarian diet, I need meat. I'm not spiritually perfect, etc, though I try to be a good person.

  7. Missy says:

    YES!! Someone finally put it to words!! I love my Moscoto wine, I have to have meat, I indulge in junk food more than I should, I cuss, heaven help you if you are the one who lites my fuse and piss me off! I'm just as much a yogi as anyone else, even when I'm on my bike cruising the mile up to my mailbox!

  8. ecaysis says:

    Thank you for this article. It resonated with me and has inspired me to keep working towards becoming a better person, without have to subscribe to titles and the expectations of others. I too eat meat, and swear, and lose my temper, and still consider myself a yogi (I also have sex, which 'true' yogis aren't supposed to do). I feel that being shamed, guilted or pressured into stereotypes of what 'true' this or that does or does not do, is part of why there is so much hatred in the world today. You eat meat? You're not a 'true' yogi, despite your journey and intentions. You use birth control? You're not a true Christian, despite your beliefs. You have a penis? You're not a true woman, despite how you feel inside.

    To me, it is about your journey to become a good person, a better person. There will be setbacks, imperfections and downright ugly days. But as so many other commenters have pointed out, it's about the journey, the recognition of our humanness and our struggle to become more mindful and give more than we take.

    And just remember… Haters Gonna Hate. LOL, sorry, couldn't resist.

  9. eighthson says:

    1) drugs are vital to the psyche, they are nutrition. if you meditate with lavender, or any scented incense, that is assisted meditation – alcohol is the same, even if it may be physical meditation (we are physical beings, it would be evil to deny or reject this)

    2) to suppress and deny emotions is not to control them, it is to fake them. be angry when you are, but learn from it so you might not be again.

    3) if you cannot meditate anywhere you are not meditating. to the hills!

    4) if the piggy got much cuddling than it is good. for my own meat needs i am planning on raising guinea pigs, give them the happiest life, and baconize them. my version of moral meat.

    5) honest expression is universal truth.

    6) if life was always happy we'd always be pissed.

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