My exhausted husband leaned in the doorway with his yoga mat propped up next to him. “Am I a bad person if I don’t go to yoga tonight?” He asked.
The question seemed so ridiculous that I laughed at him. “The answer to that is an unequivocal no. No one has ever been a bad person because they miss their Thursday night Bikram class.”
“But going to yoga makes me a better person.” He replied, using our often quoted phrase.
When framed differently, it really made me think twice about saying that. I do often claim that yoga has made me a better person, because in a way, it seems like it has. I’m less stressed, more patient, less judgmental and more present.
But maybe this is not the right way to say it. Maybe framing it that way way sets us up for more guilt.
What I mean is that yoga enables me to be more of my true self. Because obviously, if I miss a class, I am not a bad person but maybe my priorities get a little more easily clouded. When I don’t make space in my life for yoga, I’m less able to cut through the bullshit. Yoga teaches me to get quiet for a moment, so the dust can settle and I can see clearly. Maybe that’s what I mean when I say it makes me a better person; I mean I’m more myself in some fundamentally realized way.
No thing has ever defined who you really are. Even yoga. When you identify and cling to something that is outside of yourself, that’s just ego. When we try to figure out the truth of ourselves, we uncover the way deep down part that is untouched by ego. That’s when we realize that just as our home or social status or occupation can’t define you, I’m sorry to say – yoga can’t, either.
Which is kinda too bad, because identifying with yoga would be a total no-brainer.
You might also like: