“So and so is really good at yoga.” I heard this so many times when I had my yoga school. The statement implies that some people are “good” at yoga and others are not, which is utterly silly. Someone might be more flexible or physically active or have a rapport with their body, such as a gymnast or dancer, but yoga is not a thing to get good at like a performance.
Yoga is not physical, it’s rather about the relationship we have with our body. It’s not mental either, it’s our relationship to our attention. It’s not spiritual, it’s the relationship we have with our spirit. You practice Yoga to bring all that we are together. Our inner world: body, breath, mind, spirit, emotions, and truth. Then the outer world: everything else. Your marriage, car, friends, house, job, etc. Everything in your life is relationship.
So when we say that someone is good at yoga, we’re simply misinformed about what yoga actually is. We usually only say such a thing, because we see someone do something that we can’t do with our own body.
I know people who are naturally flexible. They can perform “advanced” postures at the drop of a hat, yet they’ve never taken a yoga class. Does this make they’re good at yoga? Of course not.
Everyone wants to be good at everything, because we are conditioned that way and we compare ourselves to others constantly. In regards to yoga, there’s a tendency to think that you need to be able to perform a certain posture or position that qualifies you, but this is not true. Unfortunately, the mass marketing of yoga has perpetuated some of these false beliefs. The truth is, there is no standard.
In the west, we love to measure our progress in the material world. We like to show people how good we are at something, then sell it to others. This is primarily how yoga is sold today. The truth is, the real progress in our Yoga practice has almost nothing to do with being bendy. It’s about having a good night’s sleep or a good shit. It’s about accepting our life as it is, so that we can make appropriate changes moving forward. We can also measure our progress in our Yoga practice by the health of our relationships. By our mindset. By developing compassion and tolerance.
Yoga is not a performance, despite what you see out there. Yoga is not something that you aspire to get good at, unless you don’t really understand what yoga is, which is the case even for many yoga teachers. But it’s not their fault, unfortunately, many were taught that way. If you are obsessively doing yoga to try and get somewhere other than where you are, you may be missing out on unconditional self love and acceptance exactly where and how you are right now.
The truth is, yoga is marketed with sleek bodies performing cool looking yoga postures and body positions that may inspire some, while leaving others to believe that they can never “do that”. My mission is to make actual Yoga accessible to all people, all body types, all health conditions and all cultures or belief systems. Why? All people can and should practice Yoga. It is the best thing that you can do for yourself, your family and the planet. It is truly the hope for humanity.