Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Because You Do Yoga, Doesn't Mean You're Better

Sometimes I run across people who think that because somebody does yoga, that they're supposed to be better than other people. Like because they've practised relaxation that they should be more relaxed. Sometimes it's the other way around - people who practise yoga and meditation think that they themselves should be more relaxed and have their problems fade into the background.

Guys, just because you practise yoga, doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean you'll be nicer or happier or more peaceful or free from illness or disappointment or somehow you'll get out of doing LIFE. Just because you take care of your body doesn't mean you're not going to die. I know it's hard to think that we are the way we are sometimes, but it's how we are. It can change. But sometimes it doesn't.

If we go to yoga practice thinking we're going to change something, like we're going because we're broke and if we could just fix ourselves a little bit then everything would be okay, we are for sure going to face frustration.

If you practise yoga, you may want to be quiet about it. Other people's expectations rise and they figure that you're going to somehow magically rise above worldly issues of jealousy and attachment. Or you can shout it out to the world that you practise and you're okay and so are they, even when things don't work out, because sometimes they don't.

Yoga is a path of inquiry. Sometimes along the way what we find transforms us. And sometimes it doesn't. The practice is to keep going in the face of doubt and dislike of what we find. The practise is to embrace our humanity so we can embrace others' as well. Eventually, there will be some progress. And if you don't see any, you may not be on the path. Keep practising!

1 comment:

Capital Mom said...

I firt stated doing yoga at 14 after a car accident. I think my parents thought it would help me relax or get better or something. I have been doing it on and off since then.

It's only this last go around that I have been open to it being about more then exercise. And I find myself getting more out of it.

I don't think yoga makes me better, but it sure makes me feel better about myself. It's not just the poses, it is stopping and learning how to allow myself to be. I take that with me when I leave the class and try to remember that.