I try not to get too jammed up about yoga pet peeves, but I have them–just like everyone else. Most often, I can find the humor: in the bedroom breathing, cell phone ringing (or talking, a la my WTF Yoga Moment post), and silly showboating. However, there’s one pet peeve I can’t shake.
We’re fond of saying that yoga is much more than the poses, but it doesn’t seem like we mean it.
This is less of a pet peeve than a fundamental disconnect between what yoga is and how we practice or relate to it as modern yogis (and what the yoga industry sells us). In short, we want to believe that yoga is more mind/body than booty, but the vast majority of what we see relates purely to physical, flexible exercise–perhaps with a little pop psychology thrown in.
But, there’s much more to yoga than that. Real yoga. Actual yoga. The tradition of yoga, as best we can study and respect it.
So, what’s a gal or guy to do? How do you distill several millennia worth of yoga knowledge into something that makes sense in your daily life, and why bother? Is it possible to merge your yogi side with an ambitious career side, competitive athlete side, or the part of you that drinks too much red wine and loves non-vegan sky-high heels, for example? If yoga practice has 8 key aspects, known as limbs– which it does– but we only, largely, honestly favor 1 (asana or poses)–which we do–aren’t we missing out? Yes. Emphatically: yes.
But, not for long… I’ve created a 3-part yoga beyond the mat course called Do Your Om Thing. I’m debuting it at the Boston Center for Adult Education in January. Together, we won’t just gush that yoga is about sooooo much more than fanciful yoga poses; we’ll mean it. We’ll study it. What we say, and what we do will be yoked or joined together–the very definition of yoga.
If you think you might like to take the class, join me for an introduction (just $10) on January 2 by registering here. I’ll give a preview of the class, answer questions, and share one of my favorite meditations for the New Year. Not in Boston? NBD. I’ll share inspiration from the course on OG and, yes, in my book when it comes out.
As for the guy who pants and groans next to you or the gal who rolls her eyes when you unwittingly steal her spot in class… I can’t do much about that, but if you want to understand yoga more deeply and personally, I’m your gal. Let’s do this, OGs.