There have been and still are, in fact, plenty of people who think they know what’s best for me and my growth (and yours as well). When I was a child, this sort of bossiness was okay. I mean, I couldn’t really understand how eating peas was good for me…they tasted so nasty! Bathing merely served to take away from play time, which when you’re 6-years-old is pretty important. (Yeah, I was one of those kids who hated taking a bath.) And it’s really hard to follow directions in class if you were talking the whole time.
Fast forward to present day.
I started regularly practicing yoga when I was about twenty-five. Initially, I began because I wanted to look good. Go ahead and judge away if that’s your thing…but don’t pretend that if that’s not why you started practicing, that you don’t care that you’ve lost ten pounds or look ten times better in booty shorts than before. (We’re only people.) After awhile, I had a feeling that there was something more to this yoga thing, and, as it turns out…I was right.
I had never considered myself spiritual…and actually hated the concept. Rightfully so, I might add. In every religious constitution there are universal beliefs about life and what is wrong/right. Now, some of these are agreeable–thou shalt not kill (unless thou doth kill, then it’s ok to kill you back.) But others are questionable and aren’t really deciding factors if you’re living a right life or not: Who watches porn?!?! Be honest, because if you don’t, I won’t hang out with you. (And clearly, I’m A LOT of fun to hang out with…but mostly because I like porn.) Well…you get the point.
Anyway, when I found yoga, I thought it was perfect! A nonjudgmental body of people who encourage me to just simply be me. And not just me…but the BEST version of me! (Just when you thought I couldn’t get any better.) And, as it turns out, when I say “nonjudgmental” what I really mean is a group of people who are judgmental. They just do it under a foggy haze of what’s right–like Veganism and Sobriety. (In case you were wondering what’s right.)
Now, I’m not saying that everyone is a judgmental asshole. However, ask
yourself this question: Have I ever judged anyone in the community for eating meat? Or drinking a few too many drinks? For talking too loudly in the practice room?…(have some respect for crying out loud) Or how about judging a girl for her super skimpy yoga outfit…(did I mention that I like pornography yet?) What was she…a slut? Some girl begging for attention? Now, if you’ve answered “No, I have NEVER done that,” I would judge you as a liar.
Vedanta encourages us to question EVERYTHING. Every thought we have, every action we take, every maxim we’ve believed in. (I’m a personal fan of not counting my chickens before they hatch…but mostly because I am vegan and like the idea of eggs producing chicks.) I would take this a step further to question authorities–yes, even in my Kula (what real yogis call their community). I mean, if I’m going to be a part of something…I need to know WHAT it is that I’m a part of…(not just what somebody wants it to be…but what it actually is. This is a huge difference.)
And I, for one, will not let anyone tell me what my right way of living is. Incase you don’t know…we are all different. (Now, I’m not talking about the universal love juice that enlivens this entire world.) I’m talking about my physical body and that which is enveloped in it (mind and intellect). One prescribed way of doing things is not meant for universal application. There are a million different types of yoga, religion, philosophies, etc. (Thank god because otherwise the majority of us would be effed.) So, I don’t think twice when I’m judged for drinking a few glasses of cabernet. A couple glasses of wine will not make me less worthy of a human, I already know this.
And when we say Namaste at the end of class…we are not honoring the sober lifestyle we’ve adopted since becoming a committed member to our studio–nor are we honoring all the meat we did not eat since we’ve watched all those PETA videos…we are honoring that universal love juice; the sameness in all of us that happens to produce the diversity in the world we live in.