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.