A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.
~ Frank Zappa
I’ve been a bad boy.
I’ve entertained my judging mind for some years now in regards to yoga. I gave it a shot back around 2006 as I explored the Kundalini practice. It wasn’t sincere however. I wanted to like it, I really did, but while the potential for raising shakti energy excited me, my passion for the practice ended there. Nothing else about it resonated with me, nothing.
After that, I tried Bikram but couldn’t stand the f*cking heat. Granted that was many years ago so maybe things are different now.
Since then however, I’ve completely shut myself off from practicing Asana Yoga. I frequent the practice of Bhakti, Jnana & Karma Yoga, but the overall trendiness of the yoga scene has turned me off. Correction, my judgmental mind towards the trendiness of the scene has turned me off to it.
I know a large part of that is due to my early punk rock roots and distaste for all things mainstream. And hey, what’s more mainstream these days than yoga, right? After some gentle nudges from a friend, however, and taking a brutally honest look at myself— realizing I’ve mentally been an asshole about the whole thing—I’m ready to give it another go.
I’ve accepted that I’ve turned a blind eye to my judgmental nature regarding popular yoga culture, and while much of the trendiness truly doesn’t resonate with me, it’s still completely uncool of me to write the whole thing off simply because of that aspect.
Am I completely crazy though? I mean, there are some serious hipster elements happening, and even worse, a lot of Guru worship in certain practices and lineages going on right? Are they even called practices and lineages?
Anyways, I have a dear friend—who’s also a yoga teacher—that’s provided me with some great info. But it’s also my nature to explore all possible avenues and thus, I’d like to ask for your help, too. I’m not sure I’m ready to dive head first into the whole scene by taking classes, but at the very least, I’m ready to begin with some home practices.
So with that being said, does my experience resonate with any of you, and if so, how have you dealt with it? I make the aspiration daily in my meditation practice to cultivate greater lovingkindness for all beings, and I make it from a sincere place—I still come up miserably short when I find myself in the company of hipsters of any capacity. I know even reducing people to labels such a hipsters is in of itself shitty. I’m grateful to at least recognize this is my own shit however, not theirs.
It’s not easy to call myself on my own shit and put myself out there like this, but it’s even harder to allow my judging mind to keep me closed off from a practice, and people, who can have a beautiful impact on my life. So here’s to moving forward…
Ed: Lynn Hasselberger
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