It’s hard to describe how much I love yoga. I love the sound my mat makes when I roll it out, I love the smell of the Nag Champa… or whatever the hell is burning in the room to drown out the person next to me’s raw armpit smell… I love the initial inhale and exhale that draws me in, settles me down and brings me home. I fuggin’ love yoga… but that’s not why you’re reading this article, now is it?
There is a dark side to it. The longer you practice, the more you roll the mat out and whiff the incense, the deeper the practice becomes. We could say there is a moment when you turn over to the dark side and become [ Que. music: DUN DUN DUUNNNN] a (whispered) yogi.
What does it mean to be a yogi? Besides dreading out your hair, wearing mala beads/banana hammock and drinking kombucha? (<-LOLOL #stereotypes #ikid) To me it means that you begin to take your yoga off of your mat. It means that not only do you start to work on your forward folds and your crow pose, but you also begin to work on ahimsa (non-violence) and other parts of the yamas and the niyamas towards yourself and others.
I remember while going through my teacher training something clicked. I stopped showing up hoping to do warrior III or perfect my handstand, and I started showing up because I found a sense of peace. I began to care less about what I was doing on my mat and instead how I was being. From there, it was a downward spiral. I started breathing through tough spots in my life off of my mat. Instead of reacting, I started observing myself before taking action. I began to consider the consequences of actions and hold in discomfort before making a decision. It had happened… I had become A YOGI.
So why do I hate being a yogi? Because, like a drug, once you start it is hard to stop. You can’t just squash a bug. LITERALLY- I TRY NOT TO KILL BUGS ANYMORE. I contemplate their existence, our inner weaving together and how we are all interconnected and essentially one. I have to weigh pros and cons of whether the spider is actually doing me any harm or not before scooping it up in a solo cup or causing its sudden demise with the bottom of my Keen.
It’s not just bugs, it’s food. I’ve become so damn aware of my food. Where it comes from, how it grew, what nurtured it (or didn’t), how much I’m eating and if it will nurture me?!? I’ve started to look at people who I once considered my enemies as simply other beings- wishing them on their– twisted, convoluted, totally not my same path– PATH for them to be happy, healthy and free.
So there you have it. I hate being a yogi. Oh and #blesst it’s opposite day on Mars, and I really actually love it.