I don’t know if you know this, but my aura is so much brighter than yours. Not that your radiant body doesn’t shine, it’s just that mine twinkles more. Don’t get me wrong, your spirit-self is whole just as you are -- but my soul happens to be more expansive.
You are probably wondering how I came to be this egoless master of humility. It all started with my first Downward Dog that took place 204 moons ago. This commitment to my practice has enabled me to transcend the space-time continuum and, because of this, my yoga farts smell like lotus flowers… mainly because that sound didn’t actually come from my butt.
I love yoga, but sometimes yogis annoy the shit out of me.
For most yoga practitioners, there was their life before yoga, and then life after. I think it’s safe to assume that for the majority of us, there were a lot of life changes happening during this transition. The asanas often lead to many other transformations of the self. You start eating a vegan diet of flax seed bread with a moss spread. You say things like “my inner child recognizes your inner child” non-ironically. You’ll have conversations while in Tree Pose and staring deeply into someone’s third eye.
Yoga Changes You
It changes you because you start eating cleaner food, are more conscious of how you treat others, and are connecting more deeply to your body. You will feel better when you do those things, and that is why yogis want to spread the message of their yoga practice. They want others to feel the profound benefits they are feeling also.
Which is a good thing!
Yet, there is a fine line between wanting to influence others because you are truly inspired by your lifestyle, and coming off as super annoying and self-righteous.
I want to ignite the flame in others to practice yoga, but I don’t want to burn down their interest with my excessive enthusiasm. It can be really infuriating if you talk to someone who exists only on the astral plane, and has vague esoteric philosophic answers to everything. “Yes I can see how your mom abandoning you in this pivotal time of need is really traumatic. Have you tried breathing into that pain?”
I’m not saying it wouldn’t help to 3-part yoga breathe into your primal wounds, but it also isn’t the most comforting suggestion when looking to connect to a person.
Even I, who am a total devotee of the practice, find myself gagging when someone suggests a Kundalini Kriya to deal with every problem in my life. Maybe I just need to be heartbroken for a moment and not hold my arms in prayer position for 62 minutes. (Actually it really does help -- I totally suggest you try it.)
Embody Your Yoga
When trying to relate to people and be helpful, you can’t act as if you are better than they are -- just because your lifestyle is more pure. That doesn’t motivate people to be more like you, it actually makes them want to punch you.
There is a way in which yoga actually is the answer to most of our life problems, because returning to the breath and being mindful will actually impact every aspect of your being in a positive way. But sometimes you aren’t ready for that kind of approach and want to kick walls or yell at kittens instead.
There has to be room for both.
As yogis we know the benefits of yoga and want the people we love (and sometimes strangers who just HAVE to know we no longer eat dairy because it wreaks havoc on the colon) to share in gaining from this knowledge. Yet, we have to be delicate in the way we communicate this message.
In truth, most people learn from example. So if you embody your yoga in a genuine way that will have a contagious effect. People will want to emulate your strategy, because it seems actually effective. If you are trying to convince someone you are sooooo “one with the universe,” you probably aren’t.
Let your open heart and loving attitude do the talking, not your mouth hole insisting that “oil pulling” while in Crow Pose will make you enlightened.