I’ve been doing more yoga lately, which makes me very happy. I like taking time out for focused and thoughtful movement, some of which is easier and some of which is harder for me. I’m reminded of limits and also opportunities– there’s a modification of most yoga poses for lots of people, and I’ve gotten comfortable with not trying to kill myself to do something that I simply cannot do that day, these days, or ever. Like this one– not happening:
One of my favs is this legs up the wall restorative pose, which I could do all day:
I love my local yoga studio, Artemis Yoga, which is near my house, beautiful inside, and filled with friendly and chill yoga aficionados of all sorts. I’ve also been supplementing my classes with at-home yoga, using the Bad Yogi youtube videos. Erin Motz is the Bad Yogi, and she has a veritable cornucopia of yoga video classes for every mood/method/body part that one might want to practice with on the mat. I did her 30-day yoga challenge last year, which included some undoable-by-me workouts; I just ignored them and did some other happier-for-me classes. The videos are 10–20 minutes long, which is enough to make me feel good and also squeezable into my schedule. If I’m feeling the need for more, I just do another video. Bad Yogi yoga is explicit about welcoming everyone to yoga, demystifying the practice of yoga, and offering a variety of ways to enjoy what yoga has to offer. This sounds great to me.
Yesterday I decided to check out the Bad Yogi website in more detail. I’m rather sorry I did, because I found that Bad Yogi has branched out into health and wellness and fitness and nutritional advice, replete with lots of messaging about how to be GOOD.
Apparently, being good may sometimes involve cleansing, whatever that is (although I see an avocado graphic, and I like avocados). Excuse me, but what does cleansing have to do with yoga? What does cleansing have to do with being good? With feeling good?
Tracy wrote a great post on cleansing here (spoiler alert: four days of non-diary coconut ice cream may not be a great idea).
I get it that there’s a whole industry around “cleansing” (as opposed to actual cleansing, which to me means something to do with laundry), and I happily ignore it. But I’m really disappointed that my online yoga friend Bad Yogi is promoting this. And with the extra ka-pow message of “be good”. No. No on so many fronts:
- No to me being asked to be good– I can be how I choose.
- No to me being asked to be good– I can be how I am.
- No to identifying being good with doing some food deprivation regimen.
- No to linking feeling good with being good (that’s way too much to untangle right now).
- No to linking feeling good with eating particular food items (or abstaining from them).
- No to making feeling good a goal (maybe that’s too high a bar sometimes).
- No to more things I haven’t listed but would agree to if someone else told me.
Here’s where I am on yoga: I’m there. Just there. I’m not good, I’m not bad, I’m just yoga-ing.
What about you, yogic readers: what’s your yoga about these days? I’d love to hear from you.