Warning: the following post features true stories of yoga off-the-mat fails.
In the afterglow of yoga practice, everyone is polite, respectful, and super compassionate, right? Not always.
Some people clearly need a lot more yoga to get their Zen on than others.
Yoga off the mat is NOT:
- Tailgating and honking at others to drive faster than the speed limit so you can get to yoga class on time.
- Cutting in line to get the best yoga props.
- Shouting at the new student because they placed their mat in your spot.
- Deriding someone for taking life saving asthma medication because you think they should just do their yoga.
- Telling someone who needs to eat meat for their health how terrible they are for eating chicken.
- Complaining that some people in the class breathe too loudly.
- Acting superior in any way because you do yoga.
- Saying my yoga is better than your yoga.
- Being insensitive, non-compassionate, greedy and generally rude.
Sadly these are all true stories. It happens all too often.
We would like to think that we would never exhibit any of these behaviors — except maybe for driving fast to get to yoga on time!
However, it can and does happen all too easily.
Instead, we need to take an honest look at our selves. Then we need to take the calm, compassionate feelings we get from yoga into all that we do — off the yoga mat.
Here is how to keep on track with yoga off the mat as it should be.
Yoga Off the Mat IS:
- Practicing patience while driving and chant mantras instead of slinging obscenities.
- Learning to be content with what you have and really feel the Zen.
- Having the intention that after every interaction with another person you will leave them feeling better, happier or more secure.
- Not practicing medicine without a license. I mean really unless you are the MD and yoga therapist for an individual you can’t know what is best for them. Better to say nothing.
- Not telling anyone how terrible they are for what they eat, because you would be terrible for doing so.
- Paying attention to your own practice not others. Then no one disturbs you.
- Yoga is about union. If you think you are better than others, well you are entirely missing the point. Look for similarities not differences in others.
- Knowing that yoga has been around for thousands of years because there is something for everyone. Putting down other people’s yoga is a sign of insecurity.
- Putting into practice the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Then people will truly love you for who you are.
If you’d like to discover more useful tips to improve your physical and mental health, then check out Zenward — a unique platform designed to help you build a lively, fun yoga practice, no matter your age, fitness level, body type, or current mindset.
Do you have a yoga off the mat fail story or yoga pet peeve? Please share in the comments below.