When ignorant people tell me I don’t practice yoga, it’s because they only want to see the “yoga” in fitness classes. When ignorant people see me practice the yoga they recognise, I’m suddenly the pretty girl in the picture doing a shallow yoga selfie that triggers others to feel bad about themselves and I’m probably vain and wasting time when I “should” be doing something society deems more important? So these two opinions are conflicting and hypocritical- which one do you think I am then?
Not wanting to see the whole picture or the whole person who used to suffer with an eating disorder and is finally comfortable with her body. Not wanting to see the person who battles every day with anxiety and so “yoga” helps calm that. Not wanting to see I worked bloody hard in 2 jobs to save up to do the training, not wanting to see I had courage to live abroad. Not wanting to see the hard work I’m now doing to promote myself as a holistic teacher (which includes designing business cards, a website, student manuals, flyers and social media content as well as a list of other duties too.) I’m only seen as airy fairy prancing around in pretty dresses and day dreaming whilst glancing at clouds when I should be doing something apparently more productive? This is all they WANT to see.
When people see me chatting to the opposite sex, I’m suddenly a flirt and I chase men. When people see me being solitary and enjoying my own space, I’m suddenly selfish and unsociable.
When people see me fall in love and in a relationship its considered rushed and too soon, or I jump from one relationship to another, my head is in the clouds and I’m not thinking straight, yet I’m 34, not a teenager. I know my own mind and heart, so I know when it feels right to committ to someone. Yet if I choose not to committ to someone and have a fling, I’m seen as easy?
If at 34 I choose I do not want (or can not) have children, I’m seen as selfish and unwomanly. If at 34 I feel ready to think about the concept of children and getting pregnant I’m seen as being irrisponsible, even though I am not attempting to get pregnant, I’m merely stating that my body-mind feels ready if that ever happened. I am told its a serious decision (as if I didn’t already know) and to perhaps wait even longer (as if I’m a younger woman). If I listened to all the mixed signals individuals and society gave me. I would never make my own choices and I wouldn’t ever love and understand my whole self by essentially putting my own thoughts, desires, wants, needs and choices first. Self love is paramount in such a judgemental and warped reality that we live in.
People only see what they want to see and you can’t change their perceptions of you or things you do and people will always gossip no matter what you do. Many people live in their own illusions and project their illusions onto others (usually out of anger and being unable to understand anything beyond their sense of reality which makes them even more angry- it’s a vicious circle).
It is important to rise above that kind of chaos. Speak your truth and with kindness.
Yoga isn’t just movement. That is one part of a big spiritual practice. Yoga means to “yoke” to have union with your mind, body and spirit but it is also much more than that. It is a very loving and expansive practice.
Yoga is singing, yoga is dancing, yoga is having kind thoughts, yoga is non harming (this includes gossip/hateful words), yoga is non violence, yoga is showing respect for yourself and others (and respect is not earned, everybody is deserving of respect), yoga is what makes your heart happy, yoga is Kirtan, yoga is Mantra, yoga is seeing the beauty in nature, yoga is stillness, yoga is discipline, yoga is concentration, yoga is awareness, yoga is art, yoga is self study, yoga is surrender and so on…..
I remember telling one yoga teacher I don’t have the space or money to practice yoga asana (the poses). And I was really upset by this. Her reply was “Your art is your yoga, your passion for your creativity, your union with the practice of art and putting all your love into it, is a yogic practice in itself”.
Certain people can not see your truth much like being unable to see how expansive yoga actually is because they choose to be blind, maybe it makes them feel better not to see ALL of you because the thought of truly knowing someone is both a powerful and vulnerable thing. So they tear others down out of fear, ignorance and misunderstandings. They choose to label others because it is easier to understand? They chose to put boxes around everything to make it easier to see in 2D and therefore judge another as not being whole and complete and thus unworthy of love?
I think if we all let go of expectations and barriers, saw ourselves and others as whole and complete and expansive beings then there will be no judgement, there will only ever be love. Only ever yoga.
Om dum durgaayai namaha!
Om namo bhagavate vassudeevaaya!