Whatever Serves You Right
I was catching up with my friend Grant, who’s also been coming to my classes at Village Green Yoga in Issaquah for the past year or so. He sheepishly looked at me and said, “I have to confess something. There was a Groupon for one month of hot yoga near my house. It was super cheap, so I bought it.” He looked at my face for a reaction and followed up quickly, “But I’m not gonna continue. It’s like an accident waiting to happen in there.”
I laughed, “My god, I thought you hurt a small cuddly animal or something.” I had been pretty vocal about hot yoga, so I think I know why Grant felt like he had to “confess” to me.
But, and this is a big but (now that I’ve made a big butt of myself for hot yoga fans out there), I also believe that there’s a time and place for everything. I told Grant, “Hey, as long as you’re getting something good out of it, then the yoga has done its job.”
I remember a homework from my 200-hr teacher training, where we were asked to think about what we want or expect from yoga, and then reflect on whether our current practice supported that. We don’t all want the same things in life, so it certainly follows that we don’t all want the same from the practice of our own choosing.
Often times, we have no idea why people do what they do. Let’s say you’ve been wanting to work out before work for as long as you can remember, but have never had the discipline, will power, or sleeping habits to do so. If there’s a yoga studio nearby offering classes at 5am. Well, regardless of your style preference, it may be that you sign up to have someone hold you accountable so you can create that habit.
Yoga classes serve different purposes for different people. Maybe someone is in hot yoga because it is just so friggin’ cold and miserable in Seattle right now. Or, maybe someone just really needs some structure and something predictable in their life, and the format gives them that. And of course there’s also the obvious reason that they just really love the style, the school, the teacher, the studio, the community, etc.
I am reminded of a post I wrote almost two years ago titled “Do What Feeds You“, where Stacy Lawson, the owner of Red Square Yoga, told me “I gotta do what feeds me, not what eats me up.” As long as we understand the pros and cons of whatever we’re doing, and we choose our actions deliberately, that is all we can do.