I haven’t written much this week. My son has been sick and because I love him and take care of him, now I’m sick. And I’ve been a decent patient, but I have pushed myself taking care of my son and the menagerie of pets so I feel pretty lousy. But not to lousy to talk about something I’m totally sick of: yoga snobs.
DO NOT listen to the yoga snobs. These are the people that try to limit yoga to only certain people (that include them, but not you). For instance they try to convince you that only really skinny people can do yoga. Wrong! Everyone can do yoga. Say it with me: EVERYONE CAN DO YOGA. If you can’t say that phrase, then you might be a yoga snob.
Yoga is not limited to a certain body shape. And obtaining a certain body shape is not the point of yoga. If you are rockin’ a six pack and you worked hard for your body, you go! And if you have some extra cushin’ for the pushin’ and love those curves, get it girl!. Cause it’s your body and it is a miracle. Really. An absolute miracle. Love it! And if you choose for yoga to be part of how you love that body then don’t let some snob tell you that you aren’t made for yoga.
Yoga is not limited to a certain lifestyle. You can believe what you like and still do yoga. I’m sick and tired of hearing that you have to follow a certain “path” to do yoga. You may have to follow a certain path to follow a religion that includes yoga, but you do not have to follow any certain religion to do yoga. And your yoga practice is just as good as the person that has decided to follow a certain path related to the physical movements. If you choose to adopt other practices that surround your yoga practice, that’s up to YOU. It is not up to you to impose these other beliefs of other people however. Discuss with someone that wants to have an open conversation is ok. Acting sanctimonious and as if yoga is only legitimate when it comes with a list of behaviors is yoga snobbery.
You do not have to be super flexible and able to stand on your head to do yoga. If those are your goals then you should go for them. But you don’t have to make those your goals. There are different aspects of yoga that different people enjoy. Maybe you can’t be a pretzel, and maybe you don’t want to be a pretzel. That shouldn’t stop you. If putting your toe up your nose on a rock in the crashing waves is your goal, then by all means go ahead, but don’t act like that is the goal of yoga. Some of us are just trying to touch our toes in forward fold or improve on our down dog. We all start somewhere and we all have different goals. Don’t be a yoga snob and act like your practice is somehow better because you’re more flexible.
And your location is not important either. Would I like to be on a beach somewhere or on a mountaintop doing asanas? Sure! But the fact that you’re in an exotic location doesn’t make your practice anymore important or legitimate than a mom in her living room or even a prisoner in a cell. Yoga is a personal practice. That means that as long as your person is with you then you can practice. If your person is in India surrounded by generations of yogi’s then that’s awesome, but not all of us have the money or time to devote to yoga that we would like so our living room or community center is where we find our practice taking place. No less legitimate.
And this yoga teacher thing is out of hand. It really is. There are people out there that would only let people teach yoga that had spent years and years traveling from exotic locations and big cities spending thousands of dollars teach even a single yoga class. They claim that yoga teachers that haven’t spent around $10,000 and countless years devoted just to yoga are dangerous. I am here to tell you this is yoga teacher snobbery. Does someone with better education equal a better teacher…NO! Someone that knows how to connect with people and explain things in a way that you can understand is a better teacher. If they learned how to do that after 20 years and $30,000 and got 5 passport stamps, then they are a good teacher. And if they learned that from a local teacher in their town and through their own research, reading and practice, then they are a good teacher. I don’t care how much Sanskrit you know. I don’t care how much networking you’ve done and with whom. I care if you teach a good class and improve my practice.
I really could go on and on about this. It won’t make me popular with some people and I’m ok with that. I’m not for them I guess. I’m just letting all of you know that your aren’t too anything or not enough of something to do yoga. Do it your way. Do the best you can. Learn as much or as little as you want. If you don’t agree with that message that’s ok. There are plenty of yoga snobs out there that will agree with you that yoga is only for certain people (and you and them are those certain people). Meanwhile the rest of us will be happily practicing without judging others.