Speaking of the end of an era…
I am currently embarking upon the last few scoops of my Coconut Peanut Butter.
My ability to look through the bottom of the tub is depressing…
[for all you non-believers, an era has been defined as the following:
a memorable or important date or event; especially : one that begins a new period in the history of a person or thing;
a period identified by some prominent figure or characteristic feature;
a stage in development (as of a person or thing).
A big shout goes out to Webster’s]
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In other words, yesterday my cousin stopped by for a visit (after a three month hiatus of seeing each other). Aside from being an over-all awesome visit, it also allowed me to get down and dirty talking about yoga. But even more specifically, yogis. Even though we both focus on two different practices, we both share the same fundamental view of yogis.
There are two main types of yoga-goers:
[first] genuine individuals passionate about the experience of yoga, the connection of mind-body movement and the vitality and liberation felt by holding a posture, or flowing through a sequence;
[second] individuals passionate about the experience of going to a yoga studio, wearing Lululemon pants for the sheer appearance of seeming hip.
OK. We gots some words to say on this.
‘Scuze my less than attractive feet.
While I am not about to say my opinion trumps the next yogi-wannabe, I do think my two cents is fairly… valuable.
So, without further ado:
Being someone passionate about movement, yoga and wellness in general, the overall mind-frame which often comes adjacent to the act of being “healthy” depress me. First of all, I would like to go on record in saying that this is NOT specific to yoga. In fact, I think if you look at an for of fit/well/ness you’ll notice this competitive mentality. But the difference is, some forms of fitness require it. Or, rather, expect it. The sheer competition increases the thrill. If you are running a marathon, the notion of beating out your friend (of course, in a playful manor) may be enough to push you to getting to that 5K, or perhaps competing with yourself to lift heavier weights is what you need to avoid a fitness plateau. I am not suggesting that this is… a bad thing, at all. Certainly it is not my mentality regarding exercise, but I get why it would be appealing for many.
However yoga is something completely different. At least, it should be. If you know anything about the fundamental principles of yoga, you WILL see that no where do they say that “competition or comparison” is at all advocated. In fact, if you go to a good yoga class, you’ll probably notice that everyone is focused on themselves, not those around them.
To me, yoga is a personal journey. One that, yes, you can take in the company of others, but one that you experience on your own, and on a much deeper plane. Yoga allows you to feel and understand your bodies wants, needs and desires, while teaching yourself how to give into them, without complete indulgence. This is why it completely baffles me when people say statements like:
‘That isn’t real yoga’…
‘My yoga is the best yoga’…
‘Real yogis need to do inversions and twists’.
Or anything like that.
Confession: I haven’t stepped inside a yoga studio in over a year. Why? Because I do not have the money needed to do that on a regular basis. I am sorry; I do not produce cash.
I also do not feel the need to.
My number one concern for people who practice yoga is form. Typically speaking a lot of people do not understand proper form in terms of yoga postures and could therefore harm themselves more than help. So in the event that you are a true beginner, I do suggest at least a one-on-one session with a certified yoga instructor.
While I do not think I am the BEST in terms of proper form, I have done ample research and practice into understanding how to do proper postures. And furthermore, I actively listen to the instructors I watch (online/TV) and pay complete attention to my own body’s requests. Having been doing this for… almost four years now, I feel pretty comfortable knowing how to get into a posture, properly. I am also disciplined enough to know what my body can and cannot handle. So, for me, an attachment right now to an actual facility is not important.
That does not make my yoga practice lesser than someone who goes to a studio. At least, I do not think.
I guess my point is just this.
Yoga means unite or to join. This could mean anything to you.
To join a group, to unite your body or mind… a combination.
Yoga does not mean competition or to compare.
So do not focus on other practices, just your own. Even if that means trying several practices. Do not bash another person’s journey because it is theirs and they will do it as they want to. Just flow. :)
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Sometimes I really want to just get rid of my phone. I need it, but the expense … ugh.
I hate and need more money.
I really think I should produce cash…
Glass: Half full.