July 20, 2020

Dear Yoga: You’ve Betrayed Me.


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Dear Yoga,

We met over a decade ago, and we’ve been on and off through the years.

I’ve come to my mat thousands of times over. I’ve read, studied, examined, taught, and embraced you.

I invested in you, moved through you, tattooed you on my body, traveled for you.

I voiced you, claimed you, and used you as my healing.

At times, I misunderstood, idealized, commodified, commercialized, glamorized, and appropriated you.

I’ve judged, envied, resisted, and yet loved you all this time. I pushed through pain, competitive edges, and often leaned on you as my ego and identity.

I debated, defended, and fought for you.

Yet, you’ve betrayed me.

I’m screaming out in pain, finally accepting that all of these years you’ve been prescribing me another “right” way to be, to look, to dress, to think, to move, to feel, to breathe.

Yet another way to prove myself and measure my worthiness. To gain acceptance and visibility in a community I longed to be a part of.

Teacher after teacher, consciously and unconsciously, further silencing me and pulling me out of my body, out of agency—left with no choice but step-by-step external alignment.

A bunch of empty quotes and affirmations. Rosy metaphors. Peak poses.

You’ve manipulated my breath, you’ve touched me without consent, you’ve judged me for not following the crowd, and forced me through range, speed, and shapes that were not safe for me.

At times you’ve made my insecurities reach deafening heights.

I need to forgive you. And I need to forgive myself for not trusting in me—for wanting to mirror and to please you.

For trying to get it perfect. For thinking I’d overcome my trauma. For staying small on my mat.

I want us to get to know each other all over again. On different terms.

I want to step off my rectangular material and weave my body into the fabric of my being.

There is no more “you” at the front of the room.

We have to build on equity and reciprocity in our process. Honesty, transparency, and a renewed commitment to always meet me where I’m at, on my own terms.

Please forgive me.

Let’s dismantle and rebuild our foundation together and start on a new journey.

A love note on yoga and becoming trauma-informed.


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