Yes, it’s true, I’m a terrible yogi. I know, you might see me on that mat and think, is she crazy, her legs are behind her head, or yeah, I want to suck that bad…but it’s still true. Asana is not yoga. Don’t get me wrong, it’s part of the recipe, an integral ingredient, like chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies, but without the flour, sugars, butter, salt, eggs and vanilla, as yummy as a chocolate chip is on its own, it in no way shape or form is the same as the whole cookie.
I admit, when I first got on the mat, clueless, I defined yoga by its physical movements. I knew no differently. Yet, even that first time, I felt different afterwards, calmer, more at peace and albeit briefly, less reactionary and more present. It not only made me want to go back, but slowly, scratch the surface to learn more.
In the beginning everything was so physically hard, but I was enamored with figuring it out, while having these minor life epiphanies occur during the moment and movement in asana. Tears were common, of joy, grief, awareness, forgiveness. So not me, but I loved it, and soon enough bought my first yoga book, Gregor Maehle’s Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy. It’s a fabulous book, that has a wealth of information as well as an in-depth practical explanation with pictures of the primary series. I admit, when I first opened the book, I was more interested in learning his wisdom on the asana versus anything about the Yoga Sutras. In some strange way, as much as I have always been a rabid reader, any time I went to read something outside of asana, I would literally fall asleep…his book, for awhile became my go to insomnia aid…I almost feel now, like I wasn’t ready to know more yet, that in my own intensity, the whole package of ashtanga, was too much to take in, and might have led me to throw in the towel.
The Tim Miller workshop I went to almost two weeks ago, helped me to accept my truth, I suck at yoga. Why? Because I’m human, I’m internally bombarded with my ego, my judgements, my impatience, my desires, my other flaws. However, as Timji worded it, we must accept who we are, all of it, not just the good but the uncomfortable parts, the ones that are still young or injured or afraid and stop judging so much. How can you move forward by suppressing your quirks? An itch doesn’t go away by pretending it’s not there, and scratching it until you bleed doesn’t help it either. Figuring out why it’s there, being curious, yet compassionate and forgiving can stop all the judgement, eventually.
I don’t know if I will ever happily allow that guy who turns out in front of me driving, even though there is no one behind me and cuts me off making me slam on my brakes while he then proceeds to go ten miles LESS than the speed limit, without wanting to scream some sort of expletive… Yeah, so I suck, because, maybe he’s a nervous driver, and didn’t grasp the timing and once he saw me so close after the turn already started he got more scared and slowed down more… Or my judgement of the judgers…I mean seriously how hypocritical is my annoyance at their annoyance? Everything can be misunderstood. Everything. My yamas, my niyamas, are they interpreted the same way universally? No. And sadly like crazed ex smokers, some folks can get a tad over zealous in the expectations of those around them. We are all on a journey, with different mind sets, wiring, and cultural biases.
So, I love chocolate chip cookies, but I confess I especially like the raw dough…it’s a magical indulgence to me, maybe I’m not ready to fully bake yet..Alton Brown has three different chocolate chip cookie recipes, thin and crispy, puffy, and the chewy, my favorite..here is a link for the recipes. on that note, enjoy your favorite, my goal of the moment is to use less curse words, so namaste mother f#ckers! It’s still a work in progress.😉