Yoga Doesn’t Care and Neither Do I

Can I get a fuck yes?!!!!

Somebody shared this article in a Facebook group I’m in: Yoga Doesn’t Care: A Disclaimer that should be posted in every studio.  I think this is my new manifesto. I’m gonna print this baby out and hang it on my wall. I’m gonna read it every damn day. Etch it into my brain. Tattoo it on my skin.

A sample:

Yoga isn’t about our lifestyle, our beliefs, our weight, our diet, our flexibility, how spiritual or enlightened we are—yoga is just about showing up and doing our dance on our mats.

Yoga doesn’t care what your hair looks like.
Yoga doesn’t care if you are vegetarian, if you eat meat or know what Kombucha is.
Yoga doesn’t care when the last time you practiced was—yesterday, six months ago, never.
Yoga doesn’t care what kind of mat you have, brand new or eating away at itself.
Yoga doesn’t care if you show up cranky or exhausted.

Such wise words, and that’s only just the beginning.

I am *SO* Over Trying to be a Perfect Yogi

Lately I’ve been feeling pressure to be a “perfect yogi” and it’s been destroying me because I am so not a perfect yogi. I don’t even want to be a perfect yogi and I probably couldn’t be if I tried.

My sins are as follows:

I have only been practicing yoga for three years. I eat cheese and I drink red wine. And craft beer. Especially sour ones from Bellwoods Brewery. My guilty pleasure snack that I don’t actually feel guilty about is Doritos. My crockpot usually contains a chicken dish, especially in the winter.

I still can’t hold crow pose for more than 1 second and honestly I haven’t even been working on this lately, but I’m going to start again. I got a yoga wheel that I really don’t know what to do with. I have never completed a 30 day yoga challenge, or a 30 day challenge of any kind, but I have started more than I can count. Sometimes I pack my travel mat when I’m travelling but I don’t unpack it when I get there.

I do not know everything there is about yoga. I meditate, but I also medicate and am on an antidepressant. I have not found god. Or enlightenment. I don’t even really seek it. I cannot touch my head with the soul of my foot. My body does not contort like the girls on Instagram. I don’t always practice every single day. My Lululemons aint no size six. My ujjayi breathing sounds more like asthma than an ocean.

Am image of ocean waves

But I show up.

I practice. I lose myself in the flow. I surrender. I sweat. I cry. I find joy. I find pride. I connect with my breath. I continue to find inner strength that manifests each day as outer strength. I continue to DO THE WORK! I fall out of poses. I get back up. I genuinely love yoga. I authentically love teaching yoga. I obsessively order more books off indigo than I can possibly read, but I do read a lot. I continue to surprise myself, to grow stronger, more resilient and yes, more flexible.

My love for yoga comes from this deep place inside of me. I work on my practice and I work on myself. I make an effort not to judge others or myself, only to listen or to try to help. I believe everyone can benefit from yoga regardless of your body size, shape, gender, abilities, age, finances, career, relationship status, experience, and so on. I believe in making the poses work for you, not working for the poses!

The yoga world has a deep history and a rich community, but sometimes it can trick you into thinking you’re not a true yogi because you don’t check all the boxes. Fuck that thinking! Yoga doesn’t care. I don’t care. You shouldn’t care. Yoga is about so much more than this.

I am not a perfect yogi. I am not a perfect yoga teacher. But I am still a yogi. And so are you.


Photos by: Alina Sofia Max Okhrimenko

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