• 5 Reasons To Not Practice Yoga

    5 Reasons To Not Practice Yoga

    The internet is full of reasons to try yoga. You’ve probably heard most of them. Yoga practice is a testament to flexibility, mindfulness, health, and subsequent happiness. Countless people have been able to effect positive changes in their lives with the help of a yoga practice. Yoga works. Still, I recognize that yoga is not always the holy grail. Sometimes, yoga is not a good choice for everybody. Sometimes, the ‘lure’ of yoga sucks. Here are a few reasons to NOT try yoga…

    1) You Think Yoga Will Change You

    Pema Chodron talks about how our practices are vehicles but not ends. Yoga, meditation, prayer, dance parties in your underwear are no exceptions! So, if you are thinking yoga will change you think again. A yoga practice will not change who you are or how you think. Instead, a yoga practice will reveal your layered beliefs and habits about these things. Truth: Yes, yoga has a way of showing you your patterns. (Or, as a teacher once told me– “The practice calls you out on your bullshit.”) But, a yoga practice will not intercede when it is late at night and you want to numb out on one of your vices. Yoga is only a vehicle; it’s a tool for you to pick up instead of that well-worn habit that doesn’t serve you. But, YOU are the driver. You change you.

    2) Yoga Has Become A Scapegoat For You To Continue Disordered Behaviors

    If you are using the idea of yoga in lieu of real healing. Stop. Stop right now. In the recent years, I’ve seen yoga become a false idol and sometimes downright harmful. Yoga practice is not a substitute for medical care or treatment. Nor, is yoga magic. Please do not use a yoga class as a substitute for honest therapeutic treatment. Being ‘yogic’ is not an excuse to continue unsound behaviors or avoid lifestyle interventions. You (and yoga) deserve better than that!

    3) You Are A Groupie

    If you are practicing yoga for the women / teacher / excuse to wear malas / _____ you probably are missing the point. A yoga practice is about connection and self-understanding. A yoga practice is NOT about marketing, the shape of your ass, celebrity, or a new flirting haven. Are you practicing for you or for an accessory called ‘yoga’? Yoga is not an accessory or trend. If this what you are looking for– try crossfit!

    4) You Do Not Believe Yoga Will Help You

    Belief is important. Perhaps, more important than we care to admit. Medical trials regularly demonstrate the effectiveness of the placebo effect in treatments and lifestyle changes. Yet ask anybody and they’ll probably attest that they are “above” such suggestion. If you think yoga is a joke or a hoax it will seem like it. Our mind mediates our experiences. Do not let your disbelief interfere with your potential to heal.

    5) You Are Not Ready To Connect

    There is a saying: ‘when the student is ready the teacher appears.’ Yoga is no different. If you open to it, yoga will bring you into direct confrontation with you. Remember to bring your loving heart.

  • Jamie Silverstein
    Jamie Silverstein is a US Olympian, Lululemon Ambassador and the owner of The Grinning Yogi in Seattle, WA. She has been practicing and studying yoga since her mid-teens when she took her first class as an act of teenage ‘rebellion’. It was at this time that Jamie began to revise her relationship with her body using the tools she learned on the mat. And, with the support of professionals and her committed yoga practice, Jamie recovered from an eating disorder and represented the US on the 2006 Olympic Team in Ice Dancing. In 2010 Jamie developed the karma project BEyoga (Body Empowerment Yoga) that benefits eating disorder recovery which she has brought to eating disorder treatment centers and yoga studios around NY and WA. Nowadays, Jamie is a 500 hr E-RYT and committed advocate for eating disorder recovery. Visit her at The Grinning Yogi or at her personal blog bejamie. Jamie is the author of the Confessions of a Yogi blog on DoYouYoga.com.
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