I laid my mat down in the back of a yoga room and attempted to find a peaceful place to saturate my breathe and dissolve my thoughts and worldly problem for the precious hour I was able to make it to my mat. In the yoga room, you’re suppose to honor peace, silence, and a somewhat ‘sacred’ space for people to get their chill on and feel good Ommmmful vibes. Of course, some places that idea is more respected than others. As I was about to close my eyes and take a few grounded breathes before the class began a girl comes in and puts her mat right in from of me. Literally, blocking the entire mirror of my sight and not even making en effort to consider staggering mats as a way to share the space. Then she looks at the guy, looking like he was maybe 30, next to her, says some words, and he replies, ‘Oh I’m going to crush this yoga class. I don’t care how hungover I am, I’m going to kill it and crush it…’ then he goes on to say some other useless thoughts.
I sat on my mat and actually laughed. Appalled at such an idea being muttered in a pretty silent room, yet shocked he would want the entire room to know he was about to intoxicate us with his hungover fumes and alcohol stink. Has yoga really become that place you go to detox so you can retox again? How has it become morally acceptable for someone to use the words hungover and yoga in the same sentence? Buddy, man on the mat, who very well may still be feeling the shots he took the night before, I hate to tell you Yoga is not a practice where that is meant to help you feel better because you decide to ‘go to town’ and sabotage your self amongst liquids and other less then filling toxins that make you seem morally acceptable. Yoga is so much more.
Throughout the class he stood in my forward vision, in the corner of my eye, and I heard him huff and puff and show off his strong push ups and whatever else he was attempting to prove with the poses. At the end he let out a huge sigh and loud breathes, as if he was curing us all with his dirty energy. I mean Heeelllloooo, we all heard you say you were there to sweat it out, get it out, and crush whatever aspect of yourself you thought needed crushing… I hope he did ‘crush’ and ‘kill’ whatever demons he was attempting to shoot and I hope he conquered whatever he was there to do. Beyond anything else, I hope one day, this guy, and any other person using ‘yoga’ for a place to find strength, ‘crush’ and show off their sexy body, or purge off their demented alcohol habit, finds a better way of living and most of all, more moral respect for themselves. I’d bet tonight he ‘crushes’ the bar scene again, and shows up to yoga, for his detox shower, and continues the sick habit again and again.
There is no crushing in yoga. In fact, the practice was designed to help you feel better naturally, so when you leave, you can feel lighter, more connected, at ease, and integrate this ‘peace’ into your day and life. Yoga, it helps you unravel the habits, and break those stupid ways of living that some how we learned were morally acceptable. There is no need to ‘prove’ ‘crush’ or physically do. Actually, yoga is so much more. Showing up on your mat is one thing, you can’t call yourself a yogi though if you’re there to win, have, show off, or feed off whatever you drank the night before (or that ego telling you so). It may happen on occasion, that random event when you enjoy good company, drink some wine, and show up with a small headache. So be it. But if that’s what gets you out at night, keeps you up at night, and causes you to need yoga to ‘crush’ the misery you put yourself in, and feel inclined to brag about it, while you are in your 20-30 you have a lot of growing up to do… there is a bigger problem. Not to mention the damage your doing to your body, and the toxic fumes your sending into the room for others to inhale and take in. Come on now, show some respect! There are plenty of other options, in fact I’ve heard showers help naturally, and there is a big blue sea walking distance, you could go jump in. We, the yogis who are there to do yoga, really don’t want to smell or take in your shit. Showing up in a place that is designed to let you be still, in yourself, with yourself, is probably not the best fit for you either, since you’re still seeking outside approval and think the idea of getting and working out is the purpose of the practice. ] It’s great you want to ‘crush’ yoga, what if you tried to let yoga ‘crush’ you? I mean enter the room with respect, shut up, stop talking and projecting your bragging words for everyone to hear, and do everyone a favorite and come to class when you are able to huff and puff because you are in such a natural ecstatic state that takes you deep within that lets you feel the power of what yoga can really do. Then that need to prove, do, show off, or say, might begin to be unraveled, and maybe one day you’ll make a conscious effort to show up in the space with real virtues that invoke what the practice is all about. Or at least respect the others, and the teacher, who is there not to cure your hangover but promote sane living without that other stuff.
Yoga. It purifies you, it lets you unload, and it’s a practice that helps you live better without all that other crap or ego needs and selfish (uncentered) acts. I humble myself and do a lot of internal laughing when I see teachers preaching the strength, students showing off the abs, or people there to get a nice ass or work their muscles in a form to look better. Nope, sorry, that’s fitness. Yoga is being silent, still, and learning to respect yourself so you can be in yourself… and even understand what that means. The moment you try to ‘crush’ anything, especially with the intentions to shed last nights late night scene, I hope you realize you’re really only crushing yourself, and hiding from the real ego need that is calling to you to be killed…. the moment you can respect yourself, and others, and be present in showing up as a moral person, then maybe Yoga will start to teach you how to crush what you are really seeking to find, and most especially feel… Yoga fills you better than any substance, and yoga lets you be you, as you, and teaches you the qualities of peace and how you can live a more satisfactory life, without all the other bullshit.