I listen to the podcast and read the blog on the website On Being with Krista Tippett. She explores the questions of what it means to be human and how we want to live. Tippett’s guests are from all walks of life and represent all belief and non-belief systems.
Yoga comes up from time to time. In March, one guest contributor wrote something that has stuck with me.
Yoga practioner Melani McAlister wrote, “See, I don’t want to be a part of a yoga world of happy talk about unending potential and perfect happiness. I don’t have much time for the kind of self-impressed platitudes that give yoga a bad name...I do yoga to quiet my mind, not to fill it with nonsense.”
Exactly. As a yoga student, I just want to practice. I don’t want to be entertained. I don’t want to be lectured to. I don’t want to hear the teacher’s playlist. I don’t want the teacher shouting over loud music. I want a quiet place. I want a bit of instruction and a little support, some reminders of what to do, and that’s about it. I just want to practice.
I’ve been in classes where teachers chatter away the entire time, going on about opening my heart and finding my true self and setting my intention and connecting with the universe and even talking about being a goddess. And I know it sounds bad, but I sometimes don’t want to tell people I teach yoga because they probably have the wrong idea about what I do, all because of the stuff that, as McAlister says, “gives yoga a bad name.”
I prefer the quiet, no-nonsense type of practice. The silence combined with the mental and physical challenges are what I need to find inner strength and peace. ~Lisa