A Bone To Pick With Yogis

Yoga whoops me. It whoops me good. I have a healthy respect for yoga. It’s eclipsed only by buffets on the list of things that expose my personal weaknesses.

But I have a hard time dealing with all the spiritual stuff commonly associated with it. I’m not saying it’s not real, and I’m not knocking people who are into for those reasons.

If that makes your day better, improves your experience, helps you deal with buttheads at work, that’s great. More power to you! I’m just saying I roll those little invisible eyes in my head that no one else can see every time I hear that stuff.

Again, I’m not saying those aren’t real and powerful things. I know that feeling is real–I get it from running.

Running is my flow. “Scottyasana”–Sanskrit for “Fat Jesus Lizard”.

Yoga, running, rock climbing, surfing…whatever. I think it’s pretty badass if anyone can get this amazing experience out of any activity that doesn’t involve a Schedule I narcotic. If you can find anything in life that makes you feel this good and is good for you at the same time, DO IT!!!

What I don’t fully understand is the need to talk about it at length.

Let’s say you go to a yoga class at your gym (or watch a video). It may be that the person teaching the class feels a ton of inner awareness or connection/oneness with the universe. I’ll go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt and concede that.

But what about the other thirty people in the class? How many of them are feeling that–really feeling that? How many of them are just faking it because they think they are supposed to be feeling it because you keep talking about it?

I know for a fact that some of them (at least one) are thinking, “C’mon! I  just wanted to do a tough workout that includes a little mini-nap at the end! And now you’re talking about crystals and soul rainbows during the nap  part!”

Again. I get it. I know that feeling you’re talking about. But do you really have to talk about it (so much)?

And why would you want to?

One of the cool things about running/runners is that they generally don’t talk about this zen experience they have while running.

Don’t get me wrong. They will talk your ear off about running. They will drone on endlessly about their splits, their resting heart rate, and what they felt like 16.37 miles into the race. They will spend so much time at the water cooler telling you about how dehydrated they are from their last workout that you’ll dehydrate yourself just to avoid dealing with them at the water cooler.

I do it (here) all the time.

My poor wife.

But what I won’t talk about often, especially with people who don’t run, is that feeling I get from running. I’m more apt to mention it in passing with a fellow runner. And even then there’s a look in their eye that immediately lets me know whether or not they understand what I’m talking about and if I should carry on.

And when I do talk about it, there’s no way I’m going to divulge the full extent and details. That’s such a personal thing. Really, it’s too personal for me to put into words.

And if I could, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.

Besides the fact that this feeling is so personal, I also feel like it’s something of a secret about running that I don’t want just anyone to know. I just found it one day. I was never looking for it.

You have to earn it, and it usually happens by chance. Just because you know it’s possible doesn’t mean you always get to have it, even though you walk out the door every day looking for it. At least that’s my experience.

Could it be that everyone doesn’t get a connection to the universe every single time they practice yoga? And can we talk about it a little less?

Maybe, just maybe, people can find it on their own.

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  • Kelly

    I agree! And why am i just now reading your blog?? Thanks for your insights!