Yoga is Intimidating: Chronicles of the Illusive "Insta-peace"
March 24, 2014
Let's face it, it is.
Unless you're super bendy and have a bright and shiny rainbow face on all the time, the thought of taking up yoga can be quite intimidating. And with reason! I remember my perceptions of yoga when I firt started practising. I thought "Oh wow, is this right for me? I'm not calm and collected, I'm a mess!" I thought that you came onto your mat and boom, instapeace. And I thought that you had to be peaceful to begin with to get on your mat. You see how this is confusing?
Here is a beautiful reality, beyond all the illusive yoga philosophy is a really solid message: come to your mat as you are, set an intention, and transformation will follow.
"But Jessica, I'm not necessarily interested in transformation. I just want a good stretch!"
Well alright then, come to your mat as you are, get a good stretch, and still, transformation will follow.
I came to yoga interested in only the physical aspects of it. I wanted to be stronger, leaner, more flexible and, of course, to be able to do advanced poses so I could post photos of how cool they all were on my instagram. My first class kicked my butt. It was then that I began to respect yoga. Let me tell you: YOGA IS NOT CALM. It burns! It fires up muscles you didn't know existed! But you see these people gracefully moving through space and you wonder, well, there's got to be something to it. And so I practised and I practised. And I found myself gravitating towards it more and more. I went from once a week to 5 days a week. Of course, like a true modern human, I expected immidiate results. But here's the thing: you don't get runners high on your first run. In fact, for months you may be running and still feel like you're part of a really terrible horror film. The trick: after training for a few months all of a sudden, boom, you feel it! You actually want to keep going. You feel elevated and motivated. THIS is the moment you were waiting for!
Welp the same applies to yoga. I expected to get on my mat and find instapeace. Instead I gravitated towards the postures and, within a few months, then began to experience yoga.
Moral of the story: yoga doesn't have to be intimidating. Your life is chaotic? Great! So is mine. You're not peaceful? Well, neither am I during 5 a'clock traffic. Yoga is chaos. And for an hour out of the day or maybe even week, you can commit to being fully present. Even if it means just focusing on your breath. Or even if it means trying to be present and only achieving about 5 to 10 minutes of said illusive presence. We're not perfect. Every yoga practice isn't going to be perfect. But if the intention is there and your heart is in it, then there is absolutely no way you won't be carried into a healthy practice. Whether it takes a month, a year, 5 years: yoga will come to you if you call out for it.