I haven’t done yoga in weeks. Months actually. I suppose from an onlookers point of view, that must seem out of character for me. Here’s why I took a break from yoga.
This summer has been difficult for me. As they say, life got in the way, and as a result of a conveyor belt of setbacks and disappointments, I stopped going to my regular yoga classes.
Truth be told, this hiatus was a long time coming. My frustration with yoga started building long before this summer. I wanted so badly for yoga to be that thing that solved all my problems and finally made me feel good in my mind and body. But as much as I fought and wanted to feel it, I just didn’t. My mind wasn’t quieter, I didn’t love my body more, I didn’t feel less stressed, or more happy. I grew frustrated with it and ended up feeling like a failure for not getting it right.
I know. Yoga isn’t about right or wrong or being the best, but my perfectionist personality turned yoga into yet another reason not to feel good enough. I was constantly struggling to fit yoga into my already too busy schedule, and battling the feelings of inadequacy over not practicing enough.
“I have to learn that it’s okay to not be the best at everything I set out to do. And in this particular case, it’s okay to not be a yoga girl.”
I’m an overachiever who’s persistently concerned with what other people expect of me. I do what I should rather than what I want. These soaring demands I put on myself are what makes yoga so difficult for me. The influx of yoga girls on social media definitely hasn’t made those demands and expectations any less pressing.
I have to learn that it’s okay to not be the best at everything I set out to do. And in this particular case, it’s okay to not be a yoga girl.
This doesn’t mean I’ll never do yoga again. In fact, I’m going to a yoga festival in two weeks (which was booked long before the summer, when I was still practicing regularly). I’m curious to find out if my hiatus has changed my view of yoga and I think the only way of finding out is to step back into class. I’m a mix of terrified and excited about the festival. As always when I’m about to dive back into something I haven’t done for a while, I’m nervous I’ve completely lost my ability to do it. But I won’t let my fears get the best of my curiosity!
This is nonsense. Yoga is not about the asanas. Yoga means “unión”. You have a looot to learn. Yoga is not a posture competition. You can’t force the way you feel in the practice. You say that you still feel the same about some things in your life. Here’s the thing:1) Look for another yoga instructor. 2) meditation 3) yoga confront you with yourself. 4) life will always be hard! All dayd, weeks, months and years.you hace to learn to take the beat an go on, you can’t surrender. Yoga is not going to change us that easy. We are in a way that guide us to be better, to be honest, patient, to take responsibilities, don’t even think, just flow!!! Focus on yourself. (I speak spanish sorry for the typos).
The japanese says that to be constant is the only way to master something. is not about the progress. This is your life, just focus on yourself, it doesn’t matter what expectations hace another people ir yourself in you. Breathe, stop thinking and Flow!!! ? or how good are other people Just don’t look at them. Continue!
Jag har känt likadant. Vad gjorde jag istället? Jo, jag bestämde bara att varje dag skulle jag rulla ut mattan. Ingen plan. Bara sitta där eller ligga, lyssna på musik. Stretcha, göra enkla övningar. Andas. Det har hjälpt mig. Ingen press på att jag ska göra en massa, prestera eller klara vissa övningar. Har jag den pressen då är det inte kul, jag vill inte ens ta fram mattan för det känns bara jobbigt. Det har hjälp mig jättemycket att inte ens tänka innan på vad jag ska göra utan bara sitta där och sen få feeling (eller inte ibland) – vad som än händer eller inte händer är ok. Tack för ett fint och ärligt inlägg.
Vad fint och klokt av dig Anneli! Jag tror att det är det bästa vi kan göra för oss själva – verkligen försöka minimera den där prestationen i allting och istället bara låta det bli som det blir varje dag. Tack för att du delade med dig. <3 /Tina
Thank you for sharing this – for being brave enough to be open! I think there’s a lot of pressure (from ourselves and others) to look like we are a certain way… but it’s better for everyone if we’re open about our journeys. There are seasons for everything. I recently gave up a part of my writing and it was one of the best things I did – for my professional and personal life. I feel clearer and saner, but it was hard. I clung to it for a long time. I accepted it was a season that has passed, and when I did, it was liberating. All this is to say, I feel this post.
Thank you Alexis! It’s so nice to hear so many people can relate to this post and have felt the same – whether it be with yoga or other things in our lives that we are doing because we think it is expected of us. I think it’s easy to be blinded by expectations (real or assumed) and also to fall into the routine of doing something, and then forget – or not realise – why we are doing them in the first place. I think it does us good to have the courage to try something different every once in a while and see what happens as a result of switching things up for a bit. If it doesn’t help or make us feel better, we can always go back to how we used to do.
I totally understand that! I had been a yogi for more than 10 years and even took a teacher training course 5 years ago but I stopped doing yoga for almost 4 years. I felt then yoga showed me my flaws, my fears, my inadequacy-those things I wanted badly to be hidden away from others, even from myself. Now I’m back to doing yoga again after struggling with self consciousness and searching of an identity, back with a self acceptance attitude, a self forgiving attitude and self awareness too.
Thank you for sharing that Polly! I’m glad to hear you’ve been listening to your heart and taking a break from yoga when it wasn’t serving you, and getting back into it now only when it can give you something positive. I hope you continue to feel self acceptance, self forgiveness and a sense of self awareness in your yoga practice.