useless knowledge yoga has taught me

I’ve had some of my wisest revelations on my yoga mat. Despite the practice being a way to disconnect from the stress and the everyday goings-on of life, often my brain is doing background work, sorting out things and piecing together wisdom. It’s not unusual for me to arrive at a yoga class with a jumbled-up mind full of problems, and leave feeling calmer and more assured that I can take on whatever issues life throws at me. I so, so value this mental clarity and wisdom my yoga practice has given me.

However, it’s not always such deep, *important* lessons that I come away from my mat having learned. There’s been just as much silly, superficial knowledge gained through my yogic journey.

Just to share a few tidbits :

1. Everybody farts. You may have heard of the bestselling children’s book Everybody Poops? Yeah. Everybody also farts. And it’s funny. And it’s perfectly okay. At some point, you are going to be that person that lets a lil toot escape during class. Whether you burst into giggles or wish you could shrivel up and die right then and there – nobody else cares. We’ve all been there. Get over it.

2. Tie back your damn hair. Yoga is no place to be vain – you really don’t need to look your best to have a good practice (even if those new lulus do make you look and feel great). Not shoving your hair up in a ponytail because you don’t want to deal with the dreaded ponytail kink in it after class is silly. Long hair like mine is pretty much a hazard to leave loose during class – you’ll either be blind in all your downdogs, or end up stepping on your own hair somehow.

3. Puppy yoga is fun, but it’s not yoga yoga. Puppy, kitten, bunny, goat(?) – whatever animal you want to invite into the studio – is ~all the rage~. Sure, it’s fun, but don’t go expecting to get the same thing out of it as you would from your typical vinyasa flow class. Animals don’t give a poop about (and hopefully don’t give a poop on) your serious yoga practice. Just let go of the expectations, and enjoy the cute.

4. When traveling, leave the crystals at home, or at least in your checked luggage. I’m not saying that TSA agents are judgy, necessarily, but you get some pretty weird looks when you set off the airport security sensor and the offending item turns out to be a moonstone tucked into the waistband of your yoga pants.

5. Sweating from every pore of your being feels pretty damn good. Previous to my first hot yoga class, I would have said I was a person who just didn’t sweat. As someone whose most common complaint is “I’m cold”, sweat just wasn’t an issue. Crank the heat up to 30-odd degrees Celsius and lead me through a mid-intensity vinyasa practice, though, and YUP – I am, indeed, capable of sweating. Buckets. And I love it; I was amazed at how refreshed I felt afterwards, like I had just released all my toxins and bad vibes in the form of sweat.

6. Contact lenses and hot yoga are not a great combo. The downside to that all-over, amazing-feeling sweat? It is everywhere – including dripping into your eyes. Which led to one of my contact lenses falling out mid-class, leaving me half blind and fully stressed for the rest of my practice. Blurry-eyed but not stressed would have been much preferred, so after that fun experience I opted for naked eyes at hot yoga. (…I guess glasses aren’t super convenient either, what with all the face-sweat – another reason I’m SO glad I caved and got Lasik).

7. Stay humble. Don’t let the Instagram likes from an advanced yoga pose picture inflate your ego so much that you lose your humility. The day you get cocky and decide to show off just a little too much is the day karma decides to knock you onto your ass.

8. That said, our bodies are pretty freakin’ amazing. After all the injuries and stress and neglect I’ve put it through, this body still hasn’t quit on me. Our bodies are strong and flexible and resilient – qualities we aspire to have in our human bodies as well as be as human beings. We’re capable of some pretty amazing, impressive things, thanks to these ol’ bodies we’re living in.

(And some pretty weird things, too, I guess…)

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Namaste, wise, weird yogis! ❤

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