Enough already! Is yoga freaking people out?

Via Lindsey Lewis
on Aug 4, 2010
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When is yoga just way too much?

We’ve got yoga blogs, yoga products, yoga-branded health food—Prana nuts anyone?—Yogi Tea, cat and dog yoga calendars, and more and more yoga studios arising all over the place. Do I love it? Yes.

Do the people in my life who don’t practice yoga love it? No.

And they’re not alone. There’s begun to be a yoga backlash. Anti-yoga rants by newspaper health and wellness columnists are getting more frequent. Media are resisting running yoga-related stories, explaining that, “We’ve done yoga to death.” And a few of my nearest and dearest are getting close to becoming completely anti-yoga, simply because they’re sick of being told they should do it—not by me.

So here’s what I’m wondering: Is it all too much sometimes? Are we, in our attempts to share the incredible life-affirming benefits of this practice, actually pushing people away from it?

I’ve been considering the idea of energy exchanges on my blog lately, and think I’ve pretty much concluded that when we invest energy in ourselves, in our heart-calling, we invite people in. When we reach and struggle to pull them towards us, we repel them away.

And as I sit writing, teachings from two of my favourite teachers come to mind. Keep in mind I’m paraphrasing here—these are not direct quotes.

Gurmukh: When you come home from your workshop, and your partner asks you how it was, don’t go on and on about it. Just smile and say, “It was great”. And leave it at that. Don’t say, “Oh, you should have come, we did this and that, and it was so wonderful and transformative.” Just go about your daily life, embodying what you’ve taken away.

Max Strom: You can come home to your partner, your family, your friends, and say, “Hey look what I can do!” and put your leg behind your head. You might have been working on this for eight years. And they’ll shrug and look out the window. Just live your life with integrity, use your yoga skills to keep yourself happy and healthy off the mat, and inspire through example.

I don’t know what the answer is to my initial question. But I think, for me, the personal solution is to simply stand in my own space, and quietly invite others in.



About Lindsey Lewis

I’m a yoga teacher, life coach in-training, retreat host, business woman, and entrepreneur. I write, I paint, I draw, I dance. I get outside every day. I challenge myself. I meditate. Riding my cruiser bike along the seawall rocks my world. Being of service is essential. I’m committed to helping the world find their freedom. I believe in love. I believe in the human capacity to evolve, to grow, and to make the world a better place—even if it’s simply through our re-vitalized presence. Let's connect! I'm at Libre Living. Twitter http://twitter.com/lindsey_lewis and Facebook www.facebook.com/lindseyonline. Also, Libre Retreats on Twitter @libreretreats


3 Responses to “Enough already! Is yoga freaking people out?”

  1. Joslyn Hamilton says:

    Right on, Lindsey. This kind of attitude makes me *almost* want to take a yoga class again!

  2. Shawn says:

    When I was a child, my uncle was an Amway salesman and always had "miracle" products that would "revolutionize your life." We couldn't get through a family event without him telling us about the latest product, from powdered mashed potatoes to vitamins to keep you young. I avoided him more than I did my cheek-pinching grandmother.

    I propose a ninth limb of yoga, one which Patanjali would have created if he had spent more time in the city and less time in a cave or forest. This new tenet of yoga is: "silence," which translates as "don't annoy your friends, family or strangers by telling them how much better you are because yoga saved your life, blah blah blah." Really…no one wants to hear it. I do yoga several times a day, I teach yoga, and I certainly don't want you to tell me about it all the time.

    Live a yoga life. Focus on your own practice. Be joyous and full of the divine light or whatever buzzword you care to use. If people really want to know how yoga can help them in their life, or how you get through rush hour without road rage, they will ask you.

    When the student is ready, the teacher appears. The teacher, however, is not a spiritual ambulance-chaser following depressed, empty-hearted people around until they convert. The teacher sits in a forest or cave, or a cubicle, and is open to students ready for the next step. That first step for the student is the most important. People who come to yoga on their own will most likely have the motivation to stick through the difficult journey ahead.

  3. Ha! love this Shawn: "the teacher..is not a spiritual ambulance-chaser following depressed, empty-hearted people around until they convert."