Yoga is almost always referred to as a form of physical exercise when you hear it. Yoga teachers in the past have extolled yogic spirituality, but today, postures remain the primary language of American yoga.
They’re an excellent way to get children ready for Meditation. These postures are an excellent way to prepare children for Meditation. Vinyasa yoga classes are designed to maintain energy in children, especially young boys.
No matter your age, you’re still a child when you step onto the mat. The postures introduce the fundamental elements of spirituality that go beyond religion. You can reach transcendence by moving your body and connecting with your breath.
The poses I use are simple for Americans to grasp because they reflect our worldview. Americans are more concerned with physical perfection than anything else.
Postural work is the familiar repetition of a narrative we have been fed from birth. The narrative is that physical health is wealth, and the body’s decay means the end of everything.
What’s the purpose of maintaining your body in top condition? To keep it frozen in time? To freeze it in time? The art of aging, however, is the great crescendo in life. Your aging is the loudest moment of your life, your deepest depth. You are here to age. The art of aging is to age gracefully and with humility. Enjoy the process of aging. Age with open arms. Another way to try and avoid aging is to obsess over the physical condition of your body.
According to the yoga industry complex, poses don’t matter much. A strong yoga practice is holding a Handstand at the edge of a hill while turning your spine inside out, as Linda Blair did in The Exorcist. The general wisdom is that the more yoga poses you can do, the better at it you will be. And the better at yoga you will be, the better your life will be. Being able to contort yourself means you are good or even better than someone else. Is that the point of yoga? What about being a better human than someone else?
Not hardly. How can you think that you are better than someone else? It’s not possible. This is where the yoga industry complex has messed up the game. Yoga is never about trying to beat anyone. You’re thinking about supremacy. Supremacy means being better than others and having more.
The only reason many of us have heard of yoga is because of capitalism. Yoga was around long before capitalism became the dominant voice. It exists outside of what capitalism can define. No matter how many yoga poses you do, whether upside down, inside out, or twisted in a pretzel, you will always come to the same conclusion. There’s no way to make yourself better than anyone else by practicing yoga.
In the end, mastering postures will be of little use. It’s not about being shitperfect. You were perfect even before you learned the postures; practicing them won’t change that.
If you’re being honest, I know I have used yoga as self-mutilation. If I am being honest, I have used yoga postures to self-mutilate. I’ve practiced sun salutations, deep back bends, and inversions repeatedly for the same reason that I chew my cuticles to the point where the bed is stained with blood. It feels good to injure myself.
I wanted to hang on to my headstands, splits, and wheel because I felt they were proof of the Truth I had once known. I treasure the photos from my practice as if they were Girl Scout badges or gold stars on my forehead. Today in school, I learned to be happy. I learned to be okay. I learned to live. I learned to live.
No matter how well-toned your abs are, you will always face a spiritual reckoning. Postures will exhaust your body, allowing your mind to arrive at the present moment. The mind can finally rest when a yoga posture exhausts your body. It’s as if you are plugging into the Truth of everything that is when the muscles, ligaments, and bones work together. Only after your body has been integrated can you see yourself. The yogic way prepares for death, the final stage of your inevitable decay. This is not a preventative method but a way to fully show up for the journey and destination of the infinite.
Your body will eventually stop functioning the way it used to. As your skin sags and wrinkles, you will be forced to face what’s underneath. The wisdom you gain from this inevitable reckoning is always going to be more valuable than your physical beauty of yourself.
Postural work does not need to be complicated. You only need to learn one pose called “sitting the fuckdown.” Give it a try right now. Sit still and remain quiet. You don’t have to cross your legs because you don’t need them. It’s okay to lie on your back, and you don’t have to sit up straight. Are you comfortable? Great. Just try to keep this posture.
Are you tense? Holding your breath, are you? Are you fidgeting? Are you hesitant to speak up? Are you still worried about yesterday’s events? What do you think about today’s dinner?
Probably. That’s chill. You’re human, so all that crap is normal. Do not try to freeze the time. Try to be present at the moment. Just be present.
Yoga postures are designed to help you breathe into the moment. Every posture has one purpose: to witness your fidgets, your held breaths, and the cacophony in your head. In my experience, it’s hard enough to mimic a Cirque du Sol contortionist without having also to do this shit.