Published Oct 16, 09 AM
By Kirk Hensler
I get it; I see why you’re shying away. The posts that used to make you roll over with fits of laughter are now making you feel judgmental and irritated. It’s that time of year when we’re all fucking miserable because it’s getting dark earlier and we don’t have anyone that exciting to snuggle up with (with the exception of those that do, and, fuck you btw). Working sucks, people are dumb, family is annoying, and life is challenging. Which makes it not okay to make fun of something you hold sacred at the moment: yoga.
But what you might not realize is that we only have a bone to pick with yoga because we love it so much.
It’s like that time you fell in love so hard, but your partner just didn’t show up in the way that you needed them to. They were flawed and it tore you up because it wasn’t the perfect match made in heaven—the partnership you needed in order to cope with this confusing and sometimes utterly painful lifetime.
The sarcasm and off-color commentary are too close to home for you right now. And suddenly, it is your job to stand up for the honor of the yoga religion. This means no more participating in yoga bashing or denying the fact that even the most perfectly practiced yoga lifestyle cannot protect your from inevitable suffering.
But don’t you see? Those who suffer the most in the end are the ones who fall victim to the greatest amount of attachment to dogmatic tendencies. You know these people: the 27yearold recent yoga teacher training graduate that the Yoga Sutras at least ten times a day in normal conversation with friends. These people do not understand themselves, so they adopt a philosophy that someone else created and call it their own. It has to be true for them, because that is the easiest solution. The search for answers is therefore officially over.
Think about talking to an old high school friend in your new yogic tone and imagine what that would feel like. It would be a struggle, and feel unnatural, and you would probably eliminate those people from your life completely, writing them off as “un-evolved” or “threatened by your recent development.” That may be partially true, but at the root of the tension is inauthenticity. It doesn’t take a genius to smell it, and it certainly doesn’t attract other people unless they are equally as enamored by the illusion of enlightenment.
That’s not to say that people can’t change and adopt new ways of living.
It’s just that to really understand something you have to be able to make it your own. It has to come off naturally, in your own words, derived from your own experiences. It is psychologically impossible to grow up a suburban middle-American and then just decide you are going to flip a switch and become a native Hindu that has been practicing yoga principles your whole life. It’s a reflection of a confused, lost person that is struggling with self-worth. Sorry.
Can people try to fucking let go of their obsession with being peaceful and all-knowing all the time? Sometimes there are no answers or explanations for the shit sandwich the universe has just served you. It sucks, but it sucks even more if you spend time trying to muster up some Vedic wisdom to understand your experience. It’s your experience, and it’s about the time you sit and observe and notice the unique effect it has on you, not Patanjali. You could be taking your own notes, making your own observations, and writing your own Yoga Sutras, and that would be the only book that would have any relevance to your life.
We need to stop striving, seeking, reaching, pretending, deflecting, defending, attaching, attacking, arguing, misunderstanding, misinforming, pushing, pulling, fighting, struggling and strategizing, and just start fucking living, paying attention and figuring things out for ourselves. I’m getting a headache reading and hearing things people say that didn’t come out of their own brain because they don’t even know how to listen to the intuitive and powerful voice in there.
The information is all there already; we just need to listen.
The suffering will slow when we stop trying so damn hard. Everyone is fucked up, and therefore nobody is fucked up. It’s all good. So stop being so damn pretentious when someone challenges your way of thinking because you’re ultimately just scared that they may be right, and your whole operation will be undermined, and you’ll look like a big dummy.
About Kirk Hensler
Kirk Hensler was raised in metro Detroit on a steady diet of meat, potatoes and team sports. As a competitive athlete, he relied on his speed, power and dominant attitude to excel. Years later, when he took up martial arts, he was tossed around a sweaty dojo for months by various women and children. One day, while horizontal on the mat, he had the profound realization that their patience and finesse quietly trumped his strength and aggression. This led to an exploration of ancient Eastern philosophies, which, in turn, led Kirk to Taiwan, where he taught English, studied martial arts and ate a lot of delicious and strange street food. When Kirk returned to the US, he began applying what he’d learned to his Western, urban life and to his career as a wellness coach, martial arts instructor, and yoga teacher. Check out Kirk’s hip hop video.