There is this ecard, or facebook quote, that I ve seen several times in different forms:
I really regret doing yoga.
Said no one ever.
And everytime I think: bugger off! Yoga does NOT feel good at all times. Sometimes yoga makes you more aggitated, increases the pain and is simply another negative experience that day. Usually a day you were not feeling well in the first place, and now you have a failed yoga experience to add up to your misery.
Definitely something to regret.
And I have a good explanation for that. Although I also understand why I, and other people with me, have mistakenly seen yoga as something that will make us feel better. Because yoga is like dolphins right? Only good things come from it, right?
And even dolphins can be highly aggressive animals, so yes: yoga is like dolphins.
A magical experience that you should nonetheless approach with caution if you don’t want to get bitten in the ass. And here’s why.
As good as sex
If you feel at ease with yourself, balanced and happy, yoga will be a profoundly positive experience. A borderline religious experience even, making your heart dance, your mind sing, and effortlessly moving your body into new and exciting postures. The only comparison to do it justice is sex: you love it so much, you want to do it every day and you are convinced you’ll never grow tired of it.
Now think of the other side of the spectrum…think about when you are in pain. Your body is hurting, or you re suffering from panick attacks. You just had a terrifying diagnoses at the hospital or your husband left you. You re traumatized, still in shock, and you re in a place where no one can help you, or understand what you re going through.
You have nowhere to turn to, but inward.
Your suffering is so high that the doubt you will face in yoga (or meditation), the confrontation with your scared ego or your injured body, that is all worth it. You can “only go up”, since you have little to lose.
Third option. Think of somewhere in the middle. Your back is hurting a bit, but only in the morning. You’re unhappy at your job, yet it pays the bills. Or you re unhappy with your husband yet he pays the bills. These are stable situations in which there is no immediate need for change. In this case self-reflection and/or a confrontation with your body will make you aware of physical limitations and your real feelings. Since this was something you were previously in denial about, you have now actually created a problem.
And that’s when yoga does not feel good.
Clean your home
I just illustrated what yoga can do in three situations: when you re feeling really good, feeling really bad, and being somewhere in the middle (where yoga may have little to add). Naturally, you have to find out for yourself when yoga will feel good, and when you’re better off where you are right now. It’s something personal too – I don’t know if you ve heard of things like the 365 sex challenge? Where couples have sex every day? They usually end up loving the intimacy of that, it always brings them closer together, even when they’re not in the mood when they start. Yoga can be like that. Some yogis swear by always showing up on the mat regardless.
For me there is something else that always works, that always makes me feel better, and that when in doubt I now always chose over doing yoga: cleaning my house. It never fails to leave me happy and satisfied. Which is why I do yoga when the mood strikes, sex when Cupid does but I show up for housekeeping 365 days a year.
Home and Class Practice: week 16
I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos for home practice. This is week 16. Our week starts on Monday and you ll receive new blogposts every week if you sign up in the right column.
In addition to Adriene’s forward fold on the photo day 16 – here’s a link to an article about a daily forward fold and squad.
The only two poses you need for mental and physical balance