Recently, I’ve had to “unfollow” some friends on facebook. Their posts were driving me crazy, and I couldn’t handle the continual barrage of negativity and bashing. Particularly in light of recent events, I cannot fathom why anyone really gives a shit what other people do – who they fall in love with, what bathroom they choose to use, or what type of yoga they practice. Really, people. As long as you do you and you’re enjoying yourself and not hurting anyone else, I honestly don’t give a shit.
So when I have friends who regularly post articles that bash “incorrect” types of yoga, I want to scream and tear my hair out.
This is an extreme reaction. I get this. I get extremely upset when I see this shit, particularly from people who I know, like, and respect – a lot. I understand as well that the reason I get so upset about this is because of me, not because of the other person – I live in constant awareness of the perceptions of others, and I’m continually fearful of being judged by my peers or by those I respect, even if I disagree with them.
I am hypersensitive and yes, I need to work more on my third chakra and my confidence, and my ability to stand up for what I believe in. So this is me doing that: I think it’s silly to criticize other styles of yoga that are different than the style you practice or teach. I don’t see any difference between this and criticizing someone else because they have a different religion, or a different skin color, or a different sexual preference than mine. It’s all good. All yoga is good. All people are good. All religions are good.
That chick needs to do more yoga, you might be thinking. Well, you’re right. Everyone could always use more yoga in their life. My blog is titled “Amy Is a Human” specifically because I am human. With human flaws and criticisms. This ability of mine to get so upset and worked up about what other people think is mine, and yes, this is something I work on daily. Yet, I still strive to show my full self to the world, because I am NOT perfect, because I am NOT enlightened, but I work towards it anyway. And if I, with all my faults, can not only do, but teach, yoga – you can too.
One of the reasons these articles and statements are frustrating to me, is that it’s putting a judgmental spin on yoga. Yoga is terrifying enough, what with the weird poses and the trying not to fart and holy shit what if I have to chant thoughts. Walking into a yoga studio for the first time takes some pretty freaking awesome courage. I know because I spent five years trying to gather up the courage to head in – and even then it was another four years before I started going regularly. So now what if the teachers or other students look at you funny because heaven forbid you fart, or you wore the wrong clothes, or BY GOLY YOU CHOSE THE “INCORRECT” TYPE OF YOGA. Most beginners probably don’t even know there’s different types of yoga. Why confuse them?
So let me say this: I don’t give a crap what kind of yoga you choose to do. Do it in a gym, do it in a studio, do it in a box. (Do it with a fox!) Blast rap music, chant, move in silence. Work towards flexibility only or work towards stability. Focus on alignment. Focus on devotion. I don’t care. In my opinion, ALL yoga is good yoga, and there are many paths to the same place. Some days I’m in the mood for some silent surrender. And some days I wanna fuckin’ rock out to some Pearl Jam and scream on my mat. Each person is different. Each day is different. Part of the yoga practice is ceasing judgement for what is and just doing what feels right, in that moment.
All people respond differently to all stimulation, and that’s neither right nor wrong. It’s different. And isn’t that lovely? Diversity makes our world a beautiful, lush, bumpin’ place that I like to call home. You know what else rocks about diversity? There’s always more opportunities to learn. Perhaps, rather than scolding those next to you for not practicing the “correct” style of yoga or loving the “wrong” gender, you can pause, ask questions, and learn something new.
So let me leave you with this, dear human friends.
Go out into the world this week, and love the fuck out of everyone. Even those who drive you crazy and post annoying things on facebook. (Even though I’ve “unfollowed” several people on facebook, let me be clear: I don’t dislike them as people. I just don’t want to be subjected to that kind of shit in my newsfeed.) Also, if people are driving you crazy: don’t be afraid to remove yourself from a negative situation. This is why Facebook made the “unfollow” button and the “block” button. And if you find yourself getting all emotionally worked up like me, pause, reflect why you’re so emotional, and then get on with your bad self. Because it’s good to know your human side.