Why Jennifer Aniston is a Real Yogi. ~ Michelle Marchildon

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Aug 20, 2012
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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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About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at www.YogiMuse.com. And you can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com.


34 Responses to “Why Jennifer Aniston is a Real Yogi. ~ Michelle Marchildon”

  1. kellie says:

    Love it, Michelle! And I'm sure Jennifer will, too.

  2. steph says:

    Wonderfully written! I enjoyed reading this and learning from its wisdom.

  3. […] We all have different reasons to either marry or not to marry. What I truly appreciate is that I had a choice. And I had great friends and family who supported me regardless of my […]

  4. JWL says:

    Nothing against your article or Jennifer. But if you keep doing the same thing you can't expect a different result. She keeps hooking up with men who are immature and not ready for a long term commitment (except Brad). And many good looking, intelligent women are doing the same. Can't simply blame the men. If we want to empower ourselves cultivate maturity (wise not old) in ourselves and choose an emotionally mature man so, the cute bad boys are encouraged to grow up.

  5. dhyanbir kaur says:

    A "real yogi" practices neutral mind. There is no "getting it right" because we see everything, every experience, is perfectly divine, just as it is. How is criticizing and judging men, and labeling a woman's "attempts" at relationship as "failed" at all yogic, or even compassionate? Every person who meets us in relationship holds up a mirror to us, if we choose to perceive, live, love, learn, and let go with gratitude. When any beautiful soul, in this case Jennifer Aniston, has achieved this state of awareness.. as revealed by a peaceful approach to living in the flow of life, knowing her self as perfect and whole, the angels sing!

  6. SBender says:

    I guess I wasn't aware that I was "failing" at yoga? Sure, I can't always get a pose perfect, and some I will never perfect, but is everything less than perfection failing? I understand the sentiment here: try, and try again. And yes, it's a good sentiment. But is it necessary to call out Hollywood "douches?" The underlying hatefulness in this essay is, unlike Aniston, very unyogic.

  7. Michelle Marchildon says:

    Oooh. I'm sorry I'm such an uncompassionate yogi. And your post isn't judgmental at all. Right?

  8. Edward Staskus says:

    Although I don't really know anything about Jennifer Aniston, she is a movie star, right, so what she does is try to stay in the spotlight. I believe marrying and divorcing other movie stars is a good way to do that. (Staying up-to-date by doing yoga is also a good way to stay lit up in the media these days.) About the marrying and divorcing, that is old-school Hollywood. I don't think it has anything to do with searching for the authentic self, or anything like that.

  9. […] “I feel tight,” or “I am overweight” or “I have injuries.” As well, many people (leaving aside celebrities) cannot afford the private class fee and taking classes twice a day is out of most people’s […]

  10. People often find solace on a yoga mat. Not only is it a great form of exercise, but it can help you figure out what is going on in your mind. Or, at least it can quiet your mind.

  11. Guest says:

    This article is hilarious.

    Firstly, because it's about Jennifer Aniston

    Secondly, because it attempts to relate Jennifer Aniston's public relationships to yoga.

    Thirdly, because the author quotes herself from a previous article.

    Fourthly, because the author tries to get you to buy her book about how she met her new husband and got a new job (why would anyone buy a book about that?).

    And lastly, because the author passive-aggressively replied to some commenter and gave them shit about not being compassionate, even though this whole article is an exercise in self-aggrandizement and ego inflation.

  12. Guest Fan says:

    i think i love you :))

  13. Guest says:

    Uh….you are *not* a "yogi." congrats on your yoga practice, but back off on the title, o great ego….

  14. guest lover says:

    Guest: you ROCK. Ditto. Word. Amen.

  15. dhyanbir kaur says:

    Deep bow. "Life is a long lesson in humility."

  16. […] anyway, as I lay there, I thought, “I don’t want to be Jennifer Aniston—always dating the John Mayers’ of life, while the Angelinas’ run off with our Brad […]

  17. KMS says:

    By that logic, Sisyphus was a great yogi as well.

  18. Joe Sparks says:

    Reality supports our cheerfulness, for all is well and on it's torturous journey to being even better.

  19. debra says:

    YES!!! and she also is trashing all of those guys…why???? Because of things she heard on entertainment tonight? You have no clue what really goes on in other people's lives. It's a giant experimental journey for ALL of us!!! Mind your OWN business "yogi"!!!!

  20. michael says:

    It's a good article and i like the whole spirit of it a lot. Taking it a level deeper though, I often wonder if Pat Benetar's apt anthem (Love is a Battlefield) really needs to be true or not. The case has been made that our loving nature is at odds with the overwhelmingly dominant relationship models/norms. http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Stray-Modern-Relat

    Worth considering if Jennifer (and most of the rest of us) are battling forces much greater than imperfect male suitors.

  21. Tracie says:

    The fact that we feel the need to determine who is or is not a "real yogi" really bugs me. Not to mention that the subject of this post is a celebrity whom most of us do not know beyond what the tabloids report. This seems like such a totally fluff and irrelevant piece, in my opinion.

  22. Mimi says:

    Amen…..Thank you for this!

  23. Robert says:

    I'm sorry , but this article is just absurd.

  24. Other guest says:

    Iv'e noticed the passive aggressive comments or sometimes flat out aggressive comments from this author too, in other articles as well. It is kind of off-putting; especially when the comments are directed at those who are just offering another perspective. For instance, when someone offered a different perspective on kale in response to another article on facebook, she said something like "my haters can suck it"…really classy. I wanted to say, "nobody is hating you, disagreeing (or more specifically disagreeing with her doctor since it wasn't even her own research that led her to cut out kale) is not the same as hating and it often can be helpful to listen to perspectives that differ from your own instead of immediately dissing those that disagree.

  25. Anne says:

    I assume the writers knowledge of the people she talks about and what's been going on in their lives, one can only try to imagine where that info came from, is of the same level as for most of us. Most of us luckily don't have the opportunity to go public with such idle gossip, and even if it was all true, what the heck makes it even remotely interesting? Not elephant standard, not by a long shot. We see all entitled to our own opinions, doesn't mean we all should go public with them presenting it as some version of the truth.

  26. Sheetali Singh says:

    Going from relationship to relationship is not yogic. Brahmacharya is part of yoga. Yogis generally have no romantic relationships or just one for a life time.

    Yogis understand the fleeting, temporary nature of so called "romantic" or "intimate" relationships in this material world (especially in the modern West – LOL!) and therefore they don't chase after them or have any fluffy new age "soul mate" ideas about them.

    When they engage in such a (singular) relationship, its for some dharmic purpose only.

  27. Sheetali Singh says:

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

    An intimate relationship as "cherry on top" is not a yogic culture concept. Again, like I stated, brahmacharya is yogic culture. That means brahmacharya even within marriage as well. Marriage is for a dharmic purpose, not "cherry on top". Aniston may be a "nice girl" – I'm sure she is. But there is nothing about her approach here that reflects yogic culture. What to speak of in yogic cultures once people reach middle age they usually embrace the natural aging process and start to transition into a more yogic, brahmacharyic lifestyle, leaving fluffy dreams of romance and sexual attachments behind them forever.

    We should be careful about imposing modern, western pop-culture narratives onto yoga.

    Yoga is one of the 6 systems of Hindu philosophy. For those uncomfortable with the term "Hindu" you can replace it with Indian or South Asian. But in any case, it has nothing to do with going from relationship to relationship in search of "the one" or "the many" or "the cherry on top".

    If people want to do that, fine, (I guess?). Its just not yogic.

    Its not true that "everything is yoga" otherwise "yoga" loses all meaning.

  28. Debra says:

    Hmm. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can ever get back the 3 minutes spent on reading this. My bad for getting lured in by the absolutely ridiculous headline. You can do better than this Elephant Journal.

  29. elephantjournal says:

    We do do better. I posted this article on Facebook last night and it crushed every other piece I posted for five hours. You were lured by the headline? You can do better Debra.

  30. Trin says:

    This article is another example of why I've cancelled my yearly membership to the Elephant Journal club. I can read this kind of cheesy puff pieces in the doctor's waiting room.

  31. elephantjournal says:

    You could read other things on elephant besides this. Here, try this, I wrote it: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/03/the-simple

  32. Sheetali Singh says:

    " For a starter marriage, it was not a great start."

    What is a "starter marriage?"