I AM A YOGA TEACHER BUT I HATE YOGA, THIS IS WHY: part 1
Because there are more important things than putting your leg behind your head
Yoga in the western world is increasingly popular and has been finding its way into the living rooms, classrooms and meeting rooms of people of all ages from all walks of life. Despite the keen adoption and incorporation of yoga and its philosophy into mainstream media, magazines, social media and peer-reviewed scientific articles, there is (in my opinion) several problems that arise with this yoga trend lifestyle.
The messages this seemingly perfectly polished lifestyle is sending out, is not achievable for most, not realistic and erroneous in several ways. The more people love yoga or meditation, the more people dislike it or turn away from it. Everyone has their own definition and interpretation of what yoga is to them but many see it as boring, repetitious routine, which has a superficial feel to it. If you have a bad teacher then the depth of your expectations may not be filled and the stretching will remain superficial.
The over-emphasis on the superficial and physical poses has created a void or a distraction in the minds of many people whether or not they practice yoga. The messages that are constantly being recycled revolve around achieving a specific yet rigidly structured pose as the pinnacle to yoga success. Many teachings are regurgitated without being questioned or challenged which is slowly killing the authenticity and individuality in each person, be it a teacher or a student.
What is lacking is a lifestyle that teaches people how to be a flexible human being from the inside. How to act in accordance to your own values, how to deal with lives’ ups and downs, how to let go of control and have a better human experience. This is the concept of psychologically flexibility.
Yoga has without a doubt many health benefits but shouldn’t learning to be psychologically flexible in life be more useful, practical and important than putting your leg behind your head and being physically flexible?
Shouldn’t the ability to be able to enjoy the tangible highs and lows of life in a flexible and conscious manner be more important than spending hours in a lotus pose trying to reach and communicate with the abstract subconscious? And what if stiffness in your body is influenced by more than just the physical factors? Could you accept that the reason some people continue to be stiff is not just because of the physical factors like prolonged sitting, lack of stretching, rolling or manual therapy but also their rigid and inflexible patterns of thinking?
We spend time and resources stretching our body without really stretching our minds. We spend significant time and resources on what we put inside and on top of our bodies with much less consideration to how we feed our minds.