The golden rules of yoga:
No judgment, no expectations for yourself or for your practice, and no competition.
So…wanna remember that “no judgment” part when I admit I’m guilty of breaking those rules occasionally myself? I caught myself in the act not too long ago at a yoga class I dropped in to. Mid vinyasa, I glanced over to see the muscley fitness bro next to me panting, in child’s pose, taking a rest on his mat. I can’t pretend I didn’t feel a little moment of triumph that I was flowing through the practice with ease.
Honestly though, moments like that feel kind of validating. So many people write yoga off as being too easy or silly or “just lying on a mat and breathing”. Uh, no dawg – yoga is hard!
You think yoga’s too easy? Alright, how about you support all your body weight on your hands in one of these fancy-ass arm balances. Or maybe show me how you can twist yourself into a shape that’d intimidate even the bendiest pretzel? I’m telling ya – some of these poses are HARD. I went to a “welcome-to-spring” 108 Sun Salutations class a few weeks ago, and that was a challenge. My arms were like sad little spaghetti noodles the next day! But damn, I was proud of those arms for the strength to do those 108 rounds of sun salutations.
Pride might be another one of those golden-yogi-rule taboos, but whatever. I think it’s important to stop once in a while and be proud of yourself. I’ve worked and practiced my butt off to get to the point I am now in my yoga practice – yeah, I’m proud! I’m stronger than I ever thought I’d be, all from yoga.
Whether you’re a beginner finally being able to maintain your balance in tree pose, or an advanced yogi mastering a tricky inversion, there are gonna be those milestone “YES!” moments. Notice them, and appreciate them! You’re allowed to be proud of them! Remember that next time you hear someone talking down about how lame yoga is. And you people thinking you’re too tough to try a yoga class? Don’t be so quick to judge.
Yoga definitely is for everyone and every body, but that doesn’t mean it’s for wimps. Just by stepping on that yoga mat and giving it your best shot, you’re a strong yoga warrior.