How to keep it real

How to keep it real peace signYoga is something that has done wonders for my life- physically, mentally, emotionally.  I’ve never regretted practicing or felt worse afterwards.  I try to keep my expectations in check, though, remembering that sometimes a great yoga class can feel like a combination of the best massage, therapy session, and workout combined, and other times it can feel forced and tedious.  But even those times that aren’t so great, they’re still better than not doing it at all.  Some yoga is always better than no yoga for me.

I prefer to keep yoga personal, something that I do mostly alone at home.  I can move however feels good, wear whatever’s easiest to grab, and rock whatever tunes I’m in the mood for.  Yoga doesn’t need to be a part of the rest of my world.  I don’t feel the need to live the lifestyle that certain yoga brands promote.  I am not a vegan.  My yoga pants do not cost over $100.  I don’t spend my weekend evenings chanting with friends.  I’m not saying it’s wrong if you do some of these things.  I just think it’s important to find your own way and incorporate yoga into your life however you see it best fits.  No need to buy into someone else’s ‘shoulds’ of being a yogi.

In the article titled ‘The tyranny of the yoga industry‘, Ruth Fowler drives this point home.  Yes, yoga as a business and as an entire industry has become out of control.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the whole lifestyle of it that some people may lose focus on what’s really important- the practice.  The unique benefits of practicing yoga and how it makes you feel is all that matters.  We are all only human afterall and just because some of us weren’t born with bodies that can bend and twist into pretzel-like positions doesn’t mean that we can’t still find amazing benefits from a simpler practice.  My arthritis prevents me from comfortably doing certain poses but I would never feel that I shouldn’t be practicing because of it.  Yoga is mine and is whatever I make of it.

Here’s her best advice- “Surround yourself with yogic practitioners who ask how you are, and who listen when you say, ‘I feel like sh*t’.”  Whether this practitioner is a teacher at your local studio, someone you follow online, or just a friend who also practices.  Yoga should make you feel better not inferior.  So, let’s all keep it real.

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3 responses to “How to keep it real”

  1. Lynell Hunt says:

    Sarah, This is exactly what I needed to hear in this moment. Lynell

  2. Chi Chi says:

    Great blog post! I’ve always done yoga sporadically, but would like to begin to work on the “practice” of it. I’d like to do it more consistently and gain the benefits you described from it.

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