Close your eyes and envision what comes up in your imagination when you hear the word YOGA. Do you see a woman peacefully sitting on a beach, lotus pose, with eyes closed in meditation? Maybe you picture a gymnast-like body standing upside down with legs in a full on split.
What about when you hear the word yogi or yogini? Do you imagine this calm, soft-spoken person who hugs trees and does meatless Monday’s every day of the week? Someone who walks around saying “Namaste” to everyone?
Okay, now open your eyes. If any of what I describe above is what you imagined yoga to be, I’m here to tell you that in REAL LIFE all of that is a crock of the brown stuff.
Let’s have some real talk for a second. When a real life mom practice yoga it usually doesn’t look anything like what I’ve described above! And here is why:
- Yoga is not all rainbows and buttercups!
If you think that being a yogi means that you don’t have problems and that you get to have “peace” all the days of your life, then you are sorely mistaken. I’ve been practicing yoga for 15 years, and teaching it for 8 and my life (just like everyone else I know) has its own ups and downs.
There are mornings I wake up on the “wrong” side of the bed. When I’m pissy with my family just “because” (damn you menstrual cycle). And guess what? My yoga practice doesn’t make that shizzle go away!
What it does do is help me handle that pissy mood a little bit better than I did the last time. It helps me be more aware that said mood is making an entrance and I can make reasonable accommodations to not chew my kids out for no good reason, because I have a better understanding of what’s going with me internally!
I talk in more detail about some of the simple and practical strategies I use everyday to find those moments of peace and patience in my FREE video. You can get that here!
- Yoga Is an all day everyday kinda thing.
Okay, you may not want to hear this. But just because someone practices #yogaeverydamnday by showing up on their mat and doing the most advanced poses, (I’m mean an asana practice that would put cirque du soleil performers to shame), doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a yogi.
Yeah, it could just mean that they are a kick arse gymnast/acrobat who uses yoga poses to get a good workout!
Here’s the thing, yoga is a practice that you do every day all day. There are some yogis that never step foot on a mat or in a yoga studio. But they are yogis because they practice non-harming, contentment, purity, self-study, surrender, non-possessiveness, discipline, honesty, moderation and non-stealing.
Those principles ARE the basis of yoga. Those are the things that make you a better person, NOT the complicated postures done on your mat. This is why I can say that yoga IS indeed for every BODY, because everyone, no matter their size or fitness level, can practice those things.
- Yoga is NOT for the faint of heart!
There are days when I don’t do my practice. There are days when I just don’t have time, because as a mother of 3 kids, I have a million things to do. Sure sitting in lotus pose for 30 minutes chanting “om” might sound great. But real life happens, and dinner needs to be cooked and kids need to go to gymnastics and soccer practice.
And so if nothing else, yoga for a busy mom like me is about letting go of my incredibly high expectations!
Stuff just doesn’t work out the way I want it to all the time (go figure). But if I am really practicing yoga, I know that the greatest lesson from my practice is NON- ATTACHMENT. In other words, let go of your expectations and be content with what comes. This brings me to my last point..
- Yoga is not some strictly defined thing!
I’m so sick to death of people judging me because I don’t fit the mold of a typical yoga teacher.
NO I don’t speak softly.
YES I swear like a sailor!
YES I will totally “burger down” on a good hamburger and enjoy it.
YES I love good wine and beer, and a martini would be great!
NO I don’t speak fluent Sanskrit and never intent to.
And YES I will absolutely scream bloody murder if you make me sit in lotus! (who the heck actually sits in lotus pose comfortably anyway?).
Here’s the thing, me as a yogini may look completely different then YOU as a yogini. And that’s all good.
Yoga is NOT about conformity. It is a practice designed for the sole purpose of leading you to experience YOURSELF. The true you. The most pure expression of yourself. And if that expression comes as a, beer drinking, tattooed, burger munching mama then so be it!
Own her! Claim her! And most importantly practice LOVING HER!
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