Dear Recovering Yogis,
We received this irreverent and refreshing letter from Meghann Foster. Although it’s not in our usual story format, we decided to print it as/is because it’s just perfect.
Dear Recovering Yogis,
I just wanted to say thank you for your funny and insightful thoughts re: the occasional ridiculousness of yoga.
I am not a “recovering yogi,” so to speak, but rather an angst-ridden yogi. I love yoga and am training to be a teacher, but sometimes the mixed messages the yoga world sends really irritate me.
Sometimes I feel that the expectations of yoga (and the behavior of certain yoga instructors) don’t match up with the reality of being human, so reading the content of your website was cathartic.
In celebration, I am going to list all of the things I have done today that are considered “naughty” in the yoga world. I am hereby releasing the shameful thought pattern that starts with “A yoga person shouldn’t…” or “It’s bad that you’re doing that; you’re a yoga person.” Etcetera. Screw it. I’m a human being, and I used to be better at remembering that. I think yoga can be effective if it leads you to truly appreciate yourself as you are, flaws included. So here’s the list:
- I was rude to an annoying person who was trying to have a conversation with me while I shoveled my driveway. I knew I was being mean. I thought to myself, “You should be more compassionate. This person is just trying to be friendly. What is wrong with you? You’re a yoga person, you’re supposed to be kind! Ahisma!” (Or whatever, I don’t remember which of those is which anymore. This also makes me a bad yogi, right?) It was 10 below; my fingers were freezing; I was curt. I was crabby partially because…
- My kids were annoying the shit out of me. They had the day off from school yesterday, and a delay today b/c of the snow, and they were driving me nuts. I yelled at them. I demanded they behave. I did not want to interact with them. I was looking forward to leaving the house to get away from them for a couple of hours, but I got stuck in the damn driveway. (See number one again.)
- I also let the TV babysit my kids. They watched a Disney movie and saw commercials for McDonalds and sugary cereals.
- I sat around all morning surfing the Internet. (Which is how I found your website.) I wasn’t cleaning my house or playing board games with my preschoolers or cultivating meaning or light and goodwill in the universe. I was holed up in my bedroom staring at the computer, wasting oodles of time I will never get back.
- I ate a bunch of chocolate chips out of the bag. I stood over my kitchen sink and ate chocolate chips because I was stressed and wanted a smackerel of something. And just to make a pre-emptive strike, this will not be the last bad thing I eat today. I will probably have a shitty frozen pizza for dinner, and god knows what else. I do know it won’t be vegan or gluten-free and will probably have an adverse impact on how I perform asana, as it will contribute to my already inflamed insides, but whatever.
So it’s a little after noon here, and this is just a short list of all of the “bad” non-yogic things I have done. I just wanted to tell you keep up the great work. Your website is refreshing.
Meghann Foster is a yoga teacher-in-training and a mom to four rowdy kids. She lives in Coralville, Iowa and works part-time as a digital marketing assistant. You can read more about Meghann and her yoga angst/adventures on her shiny new blog: http://meghannkayyoga.com/