I know what it’s like to walk into a yoga class and feel completely out of place (I still do, actually, but for other reasons now ;O). When I first tried yoga, oh way back when, I couldn’t even touch my toes … not even close!
Fortunately for me, I was persistent … and also fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to travel to India early on in my exploration of yoga and spend a lot of time learning outside of the goal-oriented, physical-fitness obsessed culture of my Western homeland.
In other words, I didn’t spend a lot of time hiding in the back of a crowded room full of incomprehensibly stretchy bendy people, feeling like a rigid sack of bricks!
If I did, I probably would have thought, like maybe you do now, that I if I wanted to do yoga, then I’ve somehow got figure out how to get my chin down closer to my shin!
But I didn’t … and so I don’t.
I stretch, therefore I am
The obsession today with the physical stretches and exercises in yoga is nothing short of shear madness! But really, should we be surprised at that? Yoga has simply entered the mainstream of a culture already obsessed with crafting the body beautiful, and this exotic new form of exercise with its easily marketable pseudo-spiritual mystique was a no-brainer, and a long-overdue replacement for aerobics and boxercise.
OK, I’d better stop myself before I get going onto a lengthy diatribe about the state of yoga in the modern world. That’s another whole book in itself.
Yoga reality check
Perhaps it’s time to step back and take a good look in the mirror. Yeah, I know, you look fantastic in your Lululemon yoga pants!
But how’s life? I mean, are you feeling more content with your circumstances in life? Are you less stressed? More optimistic? Able to stay cool as a cucumber in frustrating situations? What about your relationships? Are they sailing smoothly now? Are you living in greater harmony with nature and everyone around you? Do you smile when everyone is frowning? Are you finding more time to spend with your kids? Do you open the door for strangers?
If you’re having a hard time saying yes to most of those things, then maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you are really getting what you should be out of yoga … or if you’re just there to look at yourself in the mirror?
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