I can remember that as a kid I used to love picking up a ball and a glove and playing catch with my best friend. I would throw until my arm was sore. Until my mom yelled at me to get in the car. As I got older I still threw, but what once was done for pleasure and competition with myself turned into feeling suffocating judgement from others, self-criticism, and seldom joy as I attended college on an athletic scholarship. Fast forward to 15 years later. I am no longer playing catch, I am no longer coaching as a profession. But I still remember the pure feeling I got from throwing back then. I found it again. I just replaced the ball and glove with breath and movement.
Duh, yoga. I remember that same pure feeling from my first few months of classes or (as I call it) whirlwind of falling in yoga love. It’s been 17 months since I took my first yoga class, and now I find myself a teacher in training, a DJ of yoga classes, a yoga blogger; completely immersed in the yoga community. But something definitely started going downhill the last few months. Lately, I’ve found yoga isn’t fun anymore. Hear me out.
I became painfully (literally) aware of my body’s inflexibility over the last year. I went through denial, frustration, anger, feeling lost and finally on path to exposing my own inner light. This is actually the good part, trust me.
Then I was exposed to the rest. Yoga politics, yoga commercialization, yoga dissonance. Remove the word yoga from the three times used in the last sentence and what’s left? Definitely not yoga.
Like a snake shedding skin, I slither through each pose out of the politics, the commercialization and the dissonance that seems to be associated with yoga these days. I battle with staying true to my “why” of practicing yoga in every chattarunga. I breathe through the shit around me to reach acceptance of it all. When I feel myself falling victim to the skepticism, the over-every-which-way-to-Sunday-analyzation of yoga in the media/blogs/critics, I am no longer doing yoga. I am no longer playing catch.
It’s true. I am no longer innocent, no longer blind. Yoga is a fire-igniting, spirtual-awakening, life-altering practice that is constantly in the public eye of speculation, attack and prodding. But what force that is so powerful, so uniting and so deep, isnt?
So I still play. And I’ve made a few lifelong friends who do too. On the mat, staying true to a raw practice, I can accept the skeptics who try to dissect my yoga. It is my yoga. I am still playing…on the mat. I am still coaching… on the mat. How do you?