The not so glamorous side of yoga
Alright guys, time to get real. This is what it's really like out there! Hope you enjoy these and please feel free to reach out and suggest some more. I'd love to heat them! A little bit of light Monday reading for you ;)
Behind the Scenes
Ah that wonderful moment when you arrive for your yoga retreat and it’s all incense and relaxing mantra music, and there’s your teacher, sipping a green tea in her kaftan, waiting calmly for your arrival… hmmm. Rewind to 15 minutes ago and I’m in the blistering heat, covered in sweat trying to erect a wayward bell tent, I can’t find the incense and the cleaner has binned one of my flip flops. And then I get the call “Jenn, they’re arriving” - shit! Mad scramble for the shower, kaftan at the ready … because it’s the quickest thing to throw on … pick up that green tea I forgot about at 9am this morning and tip toe to the door barefoot due to lack of flip-flops. Just remind me to thank the person who found that incense!
Grown Up Clothes Fear
Weddings induce more than a mild sense of panic these days and not because I’m 36 and still single … pft c’mon! … but because brightly coloured spandex leggings and ironic slogan tank tops are generally frowned upon (“Heavily Meditated” anyone?) But, here’s the kicker … I usually have to wear high heels!! Whaaat? Now for someone who can stand on their hands and knock out a pretty mean dancer’s pose, the combination of heels and a dress is lethal. Think Bambi on stilts swathed in floaty trip-inducing fabric, then add 2 glasses of champagne … get the picture? Please, though, don't rush to take me off the invite list, just never, ever ask me to ‘gracefully’ walk down an aisle for you … unless its in flip-flops!
And while we’re on it, let’s just address it. Spandex … imagine living most of your adult life in spandex. In ‘Alo Yoga land’ the humble yoga pant has the power to transform you into a yogic superstar. There you are, full face of make-up perfectly applied, in full splits (of course), not a bead of sweat in sight, and …oh look … you can go straight from class to the bar, you lucky devil you! The reality, my friend, is split crotches (one time, for me, in the middle of a class of 50 people literally from tailbone to pubic bone), completely see-through yoga pants (so fun) and ‘high performance pants’ that make you look like a sausage squashed into a plastic straw. When you find a pair that fit great and are super comfy during your yoga practice … hold on to them ... For. Dear. Life.
Alright Judgy McJudgeson, I see you behind that Yucca plant eyeballing my glass of red wine. It’s ok … I am human and I like a drink once in a while. I know it’s controversial but I believe that the dogma associated with yoga is what pushes many people away from the path … and that’s a shame. Nobody is any more of a ‘yogi’ than anyone else. It’s not a competition to see if I can down more green juice than you or who meditates the longest. The length of my hamstrings are in no way comparable to my worth as a person either! So, put down the judgement stick and understand we are all on our own journey. As long as we are making conscious choices that sit well with our morals, we are going in the right direction … and that looks different for everyone. If you really think about it, dogma is the opposite of Ahimsa.
This is true and very recent ...
Monday 5am: alarm goes off.
Melissa: “Jenn, get up, you wanted to do that sunrise photo”
Me: “Hmmm … yeah … 5 minutes … blah blah … snore”
Wake up at 7.30am … sun in full force
Tuesday 5am: alarm goes off.
Me: “Ok ok I’m up”
Go to window, torrential rain and thunderstorms
Two months into our travels and have I got that sunrise photo? nope. Other favourites I’ve heard along the way … sitting ‘serenely’ on a jagged rock in full lotus pose before getting taken out by a rogue wave, freezing your ass off on top of a mountain, having made the boyfriend haul 10kg of camera equipment up there for one shot but finding the lighting was ‘wrong’ and holding up traffic at a busy intersection to get a handstand. Hilarious.
The Real Yoga Butt
No no, not the perky behind you see in the commercials … actual yoga butt. This is where you stretch the hamstrings too aggressively and actually cause little micro (or macro!) tears in the top insertion point of your hammies … right under your butt. The result is a rather attractive ‘bandy-legged’ walk, and the appearance that you may have had what your mother used to call a "little accident”. We’ve all been there. So, nope, we don't roll out of bed into full splits in the morning. A lot of the time, personally, I’m a little tight and sore … a reminder that my body is feeling changes as a result of the practice… a beautiful thing when we work gently … even though my first forward fold of the day sometimes feels like the first one ever! And on those days, a super long, super basic, super gentle practice … nothing fancy about that :)
Wishing you love and a realistic practice ;)