August 20, 2012

Why Jennifer Aniston is a Real Yogi. ~ Michelle Marchildon

Why Jennifer Aniston is willing to try again.

Many of us in long-term relationships often spend the weekend dreaming about how to leave our partner (there are 50 ways? I’m only coming up with two or three).

On the other hand, Jennifer Aniston is famously willing to try again.

Aniston, who once said “The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain,” sure felt the pain in her love life. I mean, she gave her heart to John Mayer, who was such a complete idiot there are articles called The 9 Douchiest Things John Mayer Ever Said. Nine? Come on. There’s another article with 15 quotes. That’s more like it.

But Aniston is a yogi. Really. She practices yoga all the time. So when she gave her heart to Brad Pitt, arguably the sexiest man on the planet according to People Magazine, and he trashed it for Angelina Jolie (who at the time was still wearing a vial of blood around her neck from her ex-husband), Aniston was able to move on and try again.

When Mayer talked about their boring sex life in Playboy magazine and that she didn’t understand how to use Twitter, presumably while she was having sex, she was able to move on and try again.

When she dated Bradley Cooper, currently the star of the movie Hit and Run, she was able to move on and try again. There’s a reason he’s the star of this movie. People, I can’t make this stuff up!

For me, Aniston is America’s sweetheart not just because she is so cute and has fabulous hair and dated some of the world’s most handsome men. No, she is America’s sweetheart because she is legendarily willing to get up, dust herself off, and try again. This is very yogic.

“Love is just like yoga. You have to be willing to fail over and over again until you get it right,” I wrote in “Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga.”

It’s true. Love is not easy. Neither is yoga. Both are here to make us better, or at least wiser. Maybe we just grow stronger if we survive it. But either way, love, yoga and life are freaking hard.

“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched,” said the Buddhist philosopher Pema Chodron. “Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”

This is why in yoga, I usually teach the pose twice. Once is possibly to fail, and the second time to get it. I tell my students, the second time around is better than the first. What can we learn here?

Apparently, I’m doing the same thing in my life. My first marriage lasted, wait for it….. 20 months! I know, right? There are Hollywood marriages that lasted longer than this—even Aniston’s. For a starter marriage, it was not a great start.

So now, I have a new husband and a new job (it’s a long story so you’ll have to buy the book). I will not go as far to say that life is perfect, or that there aren’t weekends that I spend dreaming about a studio apartment in New York City. But it is better.

And if there are days when it sucks, well I’m not afraid to try again until I get it right. That’s the lesson that Aniston has taught us by being thrown into the spotlight shining on her failed attempts at love.

“A relationship isn’t going to make me survive,” Aniston once said. “It’s the cherry on top.”

I hope you have your cake this time, Ms. Aniston, and the cherry on top as well. If not, you can always come back to your yoga mat and try again.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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