Yoga Isn’t All F#*king Sunshine and Rainbows


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.”

Say what?

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?

Image: esty

33 thoughts on “Yoga Isn’t All F#*king Sunshine and Rainbows

  1. Exactly what I needed to be reminded of this morning- thanks!

    PS- on thanksgiving my mother informed me that I wasn’t acting “very yogic” and… lets just say that I did NOT magically get “more yogic” from then on out! Not the best tactic. :)

  2. All of you need to take up openwater swimming. It will set you free. Oh, and you are so tired you really can’t be arsed with all this drivel. We are all small and one day earth will be consumed by the sun. Find your happiness people.

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  6. Thanks Tami, you’ve just saved me writing a post in an almost identical vein. Instead, I’ll just link to this post and be done with it! :)

    Oh yeah… and I completely agree.

  7. as a yoga blogger who has been called unyogic, snarky, bitchy, arrogant, and told to go away and never come back….I have two words for those who said that: BITE ME.


    • @keishua: thanks.

      i’m not sure either. maybe it’s the way western yoga is billed as a stress-relieving fix-all or how some people do walk around in their fancy yoga pants all yoga-speak this and yoga-speak that (i actually know a person or 2 like this and man, i want to whack them too).

  8. This attitude toward yoga always reminds me that I live in a country founded by protestants/puritans. Really. The whole “everything is good; no one is upset” thing DRIVES ME NUTS! Freaking Stepford people! CREEP. ME. OUT.

    Being UNREAL — that is the most UNyogic thing ever!

    • @blisschick: seriously. the crazy thing is that it always comes from people that don’t even DO yoga, so what the fuck do they know anyway? bugs. sometimes i feel like it’s my duty to explain it and other times i just wish they’d shut up and go away.

  9. Hallelujah! I love it when you cuss. And I love to cuss. That doesn’t make us unyogic, it makes us real. FUCK YEAH!

    Furthermore, those judgy mcjudgertons telling you that you aren’t yogic can suck it. It certainly isn’t yogic to judge.

    You rock. Word is bond.

  10. This is the best post I’ve read all week, and it so summarizes my mood this weekend. Sometimes we feel like now that we have _______ (a husband, a kid, yoga, antidepressants, whatever), we shouldn’t feel anything. That’s not real life. Even if you have something that helps you work through your feelings, it’s pretty hard to be exempt from having them (unless you are constantly self-numbing). And do you really want to anyway? Sometimes you have to feel the lows. It helps you appreciate the serenity. Thank you for saying this out loud — it was exactly what I needed tonight!

  11. Someone once remarked that I wasn’t very “zen” and I asked them to imagine what I’d be like without yoga :) If they think I’m bitchy now, well…

    But I love this. Yoga isn’t a cure or something that takes away those emotions; it makes it possible to deal with them. This post is awesome.

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