We often wax poetic about how wonderful yoga is: the health benefits, the mental clarity, the spiritual connectedness... the positive affirmations we, as yogis, feed back to ourselves goes on and on. We just want the whole world to grasp this truly magical practice. That's all. It would be good for them, we say. The world would be a much better place, we exclaim.
But something that people rarely tell you about yoga are the sharp pitfalls and ragged edges of yoga. How yoga can actually ruin your life.
I started doing yoga more than 10 years ago. And I love it. I also hate it.
When I began doing yoga it was to escape and balance out a very stressful corporate job. And it worked. It really worked. And I suppose it is still "working", however, I am more cautious now than ever about my involvement and relationship to yoga.
Something happens to you when you start yoga. Your body and mind begin to transform. It is a very powerful experience on both a physical and mental level. You want everyone you know to be a yogi. You talk about yoga, ingest yoga at as many levels as you can. And you can get swept away into an entire world of yoga - a blissful, cozy, warm blanket place to be... and it feels really good...until you turn into a total jerk.
The day you see yourself truly in the mirror, on your yogi high horse, is painful and humbling... and I suppose, one of the truest yogi moments one can have.
How can you be on the look out for your yogi high horse?
Do you judge others for not being into yoga? Do you think that because they don't have yoga in their life that their life is somehow unrealized or stopping short?
Are there times that you walk down the street thinking you have the secret to life that others don't share and can't comprehend?
Is there a possibility you wouldn't date someone or become friends with someone that isn't into yoga?
If you answered yes to any of the above - get off your yogi high horse and come join us back down on earth. You aren't special. You aren't any different than the rest of us. Just because someone doesn't ever see the inside of a yoga studio means nothing in the grand scheme of being human.
I am going to restrain myself from quoting any classic yogi text or quoting a spiritual guru because you will like that too much. What I am going to say is.... being a judgmental jerk is the most un-yogic action you can aspire to. Somewhere along the way it got cloudy. You and your horse rode off into the pixie dust, and you forgot to remain human at the most basic level.
There is no amount of transcendence or bliss-seeking that makes you more human than the person sitting right next to you, right now. So look over at them, smile and assume they have more figured out than you do - because they probably do.