Monday, March 8, 2010

10 Things I Hate About Yoga

What did you expect? I told you I'm a whiner. And even though yoga is my love, there are things about the practice that drive me nuts (kind of like when my husband gets crumbs in the margarine tub).

1. It's not all butterflies and rainbows. Yoga is hard work, both physically and emotionally. There are times when a teacher asks you to hold a pose so long you want to either cry or scream, but you can't because it wouldn't be polite.

2. You're stronger than you think you are. Part of the practice is learning when you push your boundaries and when to back off. When you get to your edge, you might think that's all you can handle and you need to stop and rest, but there's almost always more room.

3. It makes you realize you than although you're wise, you don't know anything. Sometimes, that's a hard pill to swallow.

4. Just when you think you've mastered the hardest pose you could ever want to achieve, you see that there's a cooler one that will take you 15 more years to learn.

5. There are yoga teachers everywhere--often your best teachers aren't the ones who have studied yoga all their lives, but the ones who reveal something about your path. You have to just sit and wait for those teachers to show up. They don't post a class schedule on the Internet.

6. Yoga pants are usually made for tall people, and I hate getting pants hemmed.

7. I know I'll never understand everything about the practice, no matter how hard I try. There's too much to learn. Many of its secrets are too rich, too deep, and too rooted in another culture for me to fully grasp it. But it's so wonderful and magical than I can't stop trying.

8. I hate extended chanting sessions, kirtan, and yoga dance parties. I like to leave music to the experts.

9. I don't belong in any of the yoga "schools," so in that sense I'm a yoga orphan. And it drives me crazy how divided the yoga world can be sometimes. I hate how people are so attached to their own way of doing things, and that they don't seem to see that there are many paths to the same place.

10. No matter how long you've practiced, in many ways you start over at the beginning every time you get on your mat.

What do you hate?