So, September is National Yoga Month. A lot of places — both brick-and-mortar studios and online spaces — are offering free classes. Not having access to good filming equipment (or, you know, a yoga teacher certification), I thought instead to share, throughout the month, some of the things yoga has taught me over the years.
I think the first has to be that not all pain is good pain.
I know it should be fairly obvious, but it was actually a hard lesson to learn. Before I started with yoga — and even after, in certain classes and with certain teachers — a lot of the physical activity I did was of the “no pain, no gain” mentality. Honestly, I attribute a lot of that to the fact that what I was doing before was pretty well grounded in a mainstream “fitness means achieving one specific aesthetic ideal, and until you do this, your body is not really worthy” mindset.
It’s easy to ignore pain — the bad kind of pain, the kind of pain that means too much strain on joints or forcing a pose too soon — when you’re focused on the image of the body you might one day have at the expense of the body you’re in right now.
Yoga, for the most part, taught me that this was not something for which to strive.