A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on a bar stool drinking a lovely cheap Chardonnay waiting for my friends to arrive.
The three of us had survived yoga teacher training together. Getting up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 to make a 7am three-hour yoga class one hated Sunday each month. Yogis emoting all over the place. Wishing I could squeeze out some tears when everyone else was snot and tear-covered. The therapist in me wanted to say, “Boundaries, everyone, boundaries.” But I mentally strangled myself to withhold the words.
Almost five years later, I have taught many yoga classes including a number that have choked me up. Yes, I cried, without the drama of teeth gnashing, wiping away the tears unashamedly in front of the class. I have watched and cared for class participants as they have cried. But it seemed natural and organic and spontaneous. Our tears came from struggle and victory and community.
During my second glass of wine, my friends showed up to sit on either side of me. We caught up on the goings-on in our lives. One friend was enjoying, for the most part, being a mother. The other friend was living on the west coast, creating a new life. I was trying to get back into life after four or five foot surgeries and one arm surgical reconstruction. Each of us was wrestling with how to fit a yoga practice into our daily lives. Lives that were crazy full and a tad disjointed and to some degree fulfilling.
We began talking about going back to our old studio. Each of us had some misgivings about returning. My friend on the other coast had a distance problem, east coast-west coast. I had the issue of being un-bendy and less than fit creating the real, already done that, terror of falling over, taking out people on either side of and in front/back of my mat. My other friend was pondering if she could cram yoga into a full family and work reality.
Finally my fertile friend said, “Damn Lululemon-wearing yoga bitches.” She was descriptive, wry, and accurate.
Well, we died laughing.
“Bat shit crazy,” I said.
We laughed so much I thought we would fall off our bar stools.
“Crazy,” said my other friend. I’m not sure if the remark’s target was the yoginis or us.
Yoga has developed a culture of elitism. We have forgotten some basic concepts. So here are my thoughts about the distressingly hilarious world of “Lululemon-wearing yoga bitches” –
- Yoga developed a long ass time ago. Its aim was to keep 14 and 15 year old boys, living in dormitories, out of trouble. We can only pretend to be 14 for so long in our practice before we hurt ourselves
- Yoga is a method to enhance your life – live yoga off the mat by developing a life
- Yoga has nothing to do with Kombucha tea gulping, gluten-free bondage, or juice fasting self-abnegation. Yoga has to do with living with the purity and thoughtfulness that aligns with your body and soul
- Yoga is not all about the poses – the poses are methods to experience yourself
- Yoga is not about what you wear to class – keep your fucking eyes on your own mat
- It’s fine if you cry in class and it’s fine if you don’t – who are you to judge the tears or non-tears of others? REALLY
So get a glass of your favorite beverage then think about using yoga to enhance your life, moving yourself out of the “Lululemon-wearing Yoga Bitches” category.