This post was prompted by this post and the yoga classes I recently participated in.
Yoga, according to trusty Wikipedia, refers to traditional physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines, originating in India, whose goal is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. Nowhere in that definition or others that I looked at, does it say that you are expected to cut anything out of your life. One of the main words I have heard from those who practice yoga is, “do it at the level that feels comfortable to you, there should not be pain”. This is applied to all levels of the spiritual and physical aspects of yoga.
I am a strong believer in take what works for you and leave the rest – in all aspects of life. On my tours with The Buzz Bus, I hear many people, each day, talk about what they believe in and what they believe wellness means. I almost never agree with everything they say. I take what works for me right now and leave the rest to possibly remember it for when it will apply to my life and possibly to be forgotten. I believe this is one of the reasons that I have been drawn to Buddhism and yoga practices. Most of what I have read and heard from those that practice Buddhism and Yoga is that I must to be true to myself and through their practices I will learn who my true self is. Both these practices are to be done long-term, because finding out who you are is a life-long discovery. You change, everyday, what you experience changes you – whether you realize it or not.
Candice Garrett (from this post) says, “If yoga is about finding out who and what we are, about refining ourselves and trying to come back to our true nature, then it is most definitely not about setting ourselves as better than anyone else, or about judging other people in any way.” Your true nature is only true to you, no one else – so how can anyone else judge or rate themselves on what you choose to do. If we want to be truly happy, I believe most of our decisions will benefit those around us as well as ourselves, so it should be little concern what other people do.
I recently took a Hoop Yoga class and I have to say, while I looked ridiculous (I can’t hula hoop – yet!) I learned to pay attention to my body and thought that by doing this on a regular basis I could learn to truly love my body. Not to say I hate it, but I’m not always my best supporter. I have also had this thought in multiple yoga classes, since it causes you to be aware, of your breathing, of the way your body moves, of the way your body feels, of you.
So, to all those judgers out there judging me – I like me, I like who I am. The good. The bad. The pretty. If you don’t like it, I’d rather not hear it. And if you’re angered by this post or really anything, try this courtesy of Candice:
Take a minute to breathe. If you’re already upset, the breath is fast and shallow, the blood pressure high. So breathe. Watch the breath slow down and lengthen. Then ask yourself if there is not some way that you can identify with the person you’re upset with, in some way…a time when you might have acted similarly. Then let it go.