I feel it is my duty to clear up a common misconception about people who “do yoga.”
We (yoga peeps) are not somehow exempt from the negative feelings of everyday life.
We experience real feelings of jealousy, rage, pettiness and my personal favorite – defensiveness. Call it the dark side, the unpopular, the stuffed down deep – however you think of the “negative” feelings – we feel them too.
Over the last year as my yoga and non-yoga lives have come together and as more and more people think of me as someone who “does yoga” – I have been on the receiving end more than once of someone telling me that something I’ve said or done isn’t very “yogic.”
Not very yogic?
What the f*ck does that mean?
Maybe I was mad and talked some sh*t about someone. Maybe I dropped an F-bomb (or 12), or maybe I bit someone’s head off after they said something stupid… (for example when someone pointed out what I just did or said was wasn’t very “yogic”).
Real life (and real yoga) is messy.
Both are full of challenges and frustrations. Sometimes resentment and anger and pettiness come up and bite you in the ass leaving you wondering where the hell that came from. On my mat (and off) I’ve experienced fear, pain and crying.
It’s not pretty. But it is what it is.
It’s all yoga, people.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
Real yoga isn’t about sitting in lotus with your head in the clouds with a smile on your face all the time. Or about saving face and keeping it all even keeled.
I’m calling bullsh*t on that, people.
The true aim is to find self-acceptance in what is happening right now, in this moment. And being ok with it. Even if it is an unpleasant or unpopular feeling like jealousy or envy.
Knowing that both the good and the bad feelings will come and go and to let things be as they are. No judgement, just noticing.
Michelle shared a poem in class this morning all about looking into the face of your fears and into the darkness.
That is what yoga really is, facing the unflattering parts of yourself and cutting yourself some slack. And maybe even finding some compassion and acceptance for the less popular parts of yourself.
Don’t let people (or yourself) try to stuff you into their limited view about what is “yogic” – remember whatever rises is what is real.
Does someone you know try to deny the unpretty parts of you? Do you do it to yourself?