I love yoga. I love how it makes me feel. I love the people I meet in the yoga community. I love that yoga is an expression of gratitude. I love how yoga is transformative. I also *hate* yoga sometimes. Yoga keeps things real in a way that other things in our lives simply do not. Yoga calls us on our BS. Thus, here are four reasons I hate yoga. Maybe you do too? :P
1) Yoga Makes Me Look At How I've Been Treating Myself
Whether it is not enjoying enough sleep or having one too many treats, how I've been attending to my body cannot be avoided in my yoga practice. On the mat, I am quick to remember how MUCH those instances of 'it doesn't really matter' do in fact matter! Simply, my practice quietly reflects the truth of how I've been taking physical care of me. On most days, this reflection is a wonderful reminder-- an affirmation. But, on the other ones, well those days I might have a few choice words...
2) Yoga Makes Me Examine My Conditional Thinking
"When I can do that, I will be ...." - sound familiar? Every time I show up consciously on my yoga mat, I am confronted with the daft stream of my own 'conditional acceptance' thinking. The yoga practice of dharana (steady focus) encourages me to stay with my mind and watch the stories and bribes of my thoughts. Then, through practice, I learn to see my thoughts as just that: conditioned response. Begrudgingly, I've noticed that that my self-worth is the same before and after an asana even though my thinking might suggest differently. Practice invites me to focus into this space.
3) Yoga Reminds Me I Can Do Better
Yoga has the magic capacity of waking me up. Every time. And, while I love this feeling, sometimes I do not know how to sit with it. Sometimes, being accountable to the gift of agency is overwhelming. To quote Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Go do yoga.
4) I Hate Yoga Because I Love Yoga
Strong feelings are scary to me, because strong feelings are real feelings. And, the real feelings matter! I 'hate' yoga because I love it. Yoga makes my life better. Period. I know from direct experience that the practice of yoga is necessary for me to nourish myself and make choices from a place of authenticity. Every time I step on my mat, I get closer to me. Yoga offers me a tool to love and respect myself. That's pretty incredible.