Yoga for all the Wrong Reasons
Isn’t it interesting how our relationship with our Yoga practice changes over the years? The way our reasons for showing up to our practice can be so different from just a few years ago. I was writing a whole other blogpost about ways to slip into meditation when this poem flew out instead. I’ll get to that blogpost soon, meanwhile I hope you find some wonderfully “wrong” reasons in these lines. Wrong because they’re everything the patriarchal gurus, the yoga/wellness industry and the capitalist grind culture wouldn’t want you to look at. I hope that’s incentive enough.
I used to practice so I could stand on my head longer,
Now I practice so I can turn the culture on its head.
I used to practice for the sense of accomplishment every new pose brought,
Now I practice to feel like a bug in the grass.
I used to practice for self-care and self-improvement,
Until my practice threw out the myths of individualism the culture had installed in me.
I used to practice to get closer to the answers I so badly needed,
Now I practice to dance with the unfathomable mystery of it all.
I used to practice to emulate an imaginary “higher” self full of love and light,
Now I practice to embody my feral intelligence full of love and fight.
I used to practice so I could someday ascend to “higher” realms and have out-of-body experiences at will,
Now my practice shows me just how underrated inside-of-body experiences are.
I used to practice to heal from wounds old and new,
Now I practice to wield the necessary magic of loving all that’s wounded in me.
I used to practice to optimize my 30 minutes on the mat,
Now I practice to expand into the enoughness of the moment, doing less, receiving more.
I used to practice so I could be a detached witness the way all the patriarchal gurus insist,
Now I practice to get my hands into the mud and marvel of everyday life, more present than I’ve ever been to all the life unfolding within and around me.
I used to practice so I could become more spiritually mature and wise,
Now I practice to be a child again, one who hasn’t yet learned to make report cards judging her progress.
I used to practice as a way to sedate my desires and make them behave,
Now my practice stokes the fires of my deepest, darkest desires.
I used to practice to look a certain way,
Now I practice to see more clearly than ever.
I used to practice to get more “efficient” and productive,
Now I practice so I can sense that deep underlying presence that makes my heart beat and my breath flow.
I used to practice for the endorphin rush aka The Yoga High,
Now I practice to honor the full spectrum of my feelings.
I used to practice to get “better at Yoga”,
Now I practice so I can be a better friend to myself and those around me.
I used to practice to turn into a “new and improved” version of myself,
Now I practice on a foundation of my already given wholeness and for the ever-astonishing exploration of just how vast that wholeness is.
I used to practice to “quiet the mind”,
Now I practice to show the mind that it’s highest purpose is in serving the heart.
I used to practice to extract the benefits of the pose that yoga books listed,
Now I practice to give my presence to the pose and be open to whatever it may bring.
I used to practice to get more precise at replicating patterns and following rules passed down over the ages,
Now I practice as a way to respond to what’s arising in the moment, letting my intelligence interrupt the patterns and break the rules, making my practice true to me.
I used to practice so I could learn to breathe better,
Now I practice so I can slip into more moments where I forget to breathe.
Funny how our reasons change isn’t it?
And if you’d like to pin this post for later: