The benefits of yoga are always being touted and I’m often told of how yoga has profoundly changed someone’s life. Yoga serves for the greater good of mankind, it unites all beings as one, it can reform the lost soul, it tones the body, reduces stress, brings you into presence, brings health and strength to the body, mind and spirit; yada yada yada.
All true, but I’m here to let you know about its dark side.
Yes, there is one. Yoga ….
1. Wrecks the Big Night Out
I have done a couple of ‘Yoga for Hangovers’ practices in my time and it isn’t fun. Letting go of the guilt of the night before is hard work. Really hard. So is dealing with the new found body awareness I have; I can feel my liver processing the toxins at 2am, I can feel those toxic substances oozing out of the pores in my skin – all of the next day – and I care that I’m wasting the day doing nothing and eating badly, as I wish for it to be over so I can start again.
2. Ruins Eating Hot Chips
It ruins eating potato chips too. It ruins eating too much of anything that used to be fun, like white chocolate and pasta with just cheese. With the new found body awareness, mindful eating enters uninvited into your life, and you start to taste the processed chemicals in your food and they make junk food taste acidic and revolting. Suddenly you become aware of the health benefits of what you eat as you envisage their goodness moving throughout your body, bringing health and vitality to your insides.
3. Decimates the Ability to Wear Stilettos
I can now only wear high heels if they are wedges – and even then I suffer. My feet do not, will not, allow me to put them in anything that is too tight or that resembles stilts under my heels. It’s a sad state of affairs but I don’t care about the gain anymore, I’m all for no pain. The same can be said for clothes, my only new outfits are from the ‘active wear’ range, other styles have become obsolete.
4. Makes You Stop, Slow Down and Feel Your Feelings
At first you get to know your body, then you get in touch with your mind and before you know it, you’re experiencing your emotions – on every level.
Living mindfully means noticing water on your back in the shower, it’s tasting each ingredient in each bite, smelling the flowers, re-learning to breathe, finding individual expression in emotion and genuinely experiencing life breath by breath. If you are someone who needs to keep busy, sweeping how and what you feel under the yoga mat, then yoga isn’t for you.
5. It Changes You
‘If you practice yoga once a week, it will change your mind. If you practice twice a week, it will change your body. If you practice daily, it will change your life’.
If you don’t like change, don’t feel any need to feel at all better, and need things to stay exactly as they are, don’t get hooked on yoga.
So there you have it. Yoga’s darkside. Take it – or leave it. I choose it. I’m going ‘resolve to evolve’.