Sunday, June 3, 2012

Competitive Yoga

When I found yoga many, many years ago - I was surrounded by no one. With the help of VHS taps and a few books I practiced at home, alone, at least once a day. I would day dream of the day I could go to a "real" studio and study under a live teacher. It was the dream, and one I couldn't wait to fulfill.

Now it's many years later and if you walk down the street of any major (or minor) city you will find yoga everywhere. In studios, in ashrams, in gyms, in apartment complexes - yoga is main stream. If we lived in India I can guess accurately it would be very different, but here in the old United States it has become the "it" exercise to do.

Do you yoga?
Where do you yoga?
What are you wearing when you yoga?
Who do you yoga with?

I like to call this "Competitive Yoga."

I am 100% against competitive yoga, or competitiveness in general. Just like I can guess accurately without ever have visiting India that the yoga scene is very different than here - I can guess accurately that when being competitive in a practice like yoga - you are setting yourself up for failure.

If you MUST be competitive, complete only with yourself.

The practice of yoga exists to help you connect with yourself - the word translates as "to yoke". Combining the breath with the movement of your body and the chaos of your mind - it brings all of your frayed parts back together and units you as one person. By challenging yourself, you can open up new avenues into your life, release past baggage, and expand your wings.

By competing with others you set yourself up for frustration, the need for approval and a long bout of life where you will be angry, aggravated and most certainly - never happy.

Don't be fooled by the glitz and glamor of this over saturated yoga market - be pulled in by the teachers who care and want to help guide you on to your path to find your true self. Let go of the "who, where, why, when, how" and concentrate on the you.

There is no judgement in yoga - only release.

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