September 26, 2012

It’s Yoga, but… WTF?

I’m far from perfect—my family, my friends and my teachers will tell you so.

But, wtf is going on?

I used to say that I didn’t recognize the yoga I saw in Yoga Journal. You know, the perfect bodies in perfect poses, the beautiful tropical locations, the men. (Sadly, I don’t see many of them in class.)

But now I don’t even recognize the yoga I see in articles and blogs. I’ve never seen bitchiness in a yoga class. I’ve never seen judgement, or if it was there it was kept on the inside. I’ve never seen competitiveness. And, I don’t see many crazy arm balances either.

I’m not saying that these writers are lying but what they describe as normal is totally unfamiliar to me. Maybe it’s a city versus country thing, like snow tires. (That’s one for the Canadians.)

Mostly what I see is people being too hard on themselves and being so consumed by that harshness that they wouldn’t notice if there was an actual elephant in the room. But, that’s what we’re supposed to be working on, right? That’s why we’re here. To learn to accept ourselves and enjoy the journey without striving for an end result or approval. Right?

I don’t see the yoga in the harsh, critical and judgmental comments on blogs, here or elsewhere. Come on, if I wanted sanctimony and piety I’d go back to my Catholic roots. No offense intended my Catholic friends, but when your teacher makes you stand up in front of the class on a Monday morning at age five and account for not being at mass on Sunday you tend to feel a bit judged.

Being the teacher, being the student, being the writer, being the commenter and, most of all, being ourselves takes courage. Can we be a bit kinder to each other and remember why we were interested in yoga in the first place? Aren’t we all one, supporting the growth we see in each other? Or are we just individuals competing to be the smartest, the most knowing, the most scathing writer or commenter?

How lonely does that sound?

Okay, let the flaming commence.

With love, Jacquelyn

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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