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Why Only Seeking Good Feelings In Yoga Is A Mistake

It stops people from ever starting yoga and it prevents people who do yoga from ever getting to the depths of the practice.

It stops people from ever starting yoga and it prevents people who do yoga from ever getting to the depths of the practice.

The misconception that yoga should only make you feel good is one of the main stumbling blocks of its fair representation.

It’s no surprise people feel this way, most articles, teachers and videos, will direct peoples attention to all the good yoga will bring. Clinging to the good and avoiding the bad.

Yoga, when followed from the perspective of awareness of body and mind, will open you up to all feelings physical/mental GOOD and BAD.

We leave nothing out in this space, fully accepting the good and bad we become contented with the natural rising and falling of life. No longer resisting the ever changing cycles of existence.

Here are the three main instances where constantly seeking good feelings affect people in yoga:

Starting Yoga But Stopping 

So often when someone starts yoga, they notice that they struggle with it’s physical/mental discomforts, so they give up. Confused as to why they feel bad, when they’ve been told it should make them feel good.

‘I’m not flexible/strong enough’

Does Yoga BUT Overly Focused On Outer Aspects (Excessive Masculine)

Someone doing yoga may be excessively focused on it’s outer aspects, finding it more comfortable to get more flexible rather than looking inside. Constantly striving for the next pose, to be the best. Building up an exterior wall to make themselves feel good about aesthetics all the time. Yoga becomes exercise. 

‘Just need my yoga practice to get stronger/flexible’

‘I’ll feel better about my yoga practice when I can handstand’

Does Yoga BUT Overly Focused On Inner Aspects (Excessive Feminine)

Likewise some yogis may be overly focused on it’s inner aspects, finding it easier to understand the reasons why we do yoga rather than strengthening and opening their body. Retreating to a cave of safety without ever challenging themselves or their opinions. Yoga becomes mental gymnastics. 

‘They clearly aren't as spiritual as me’

Once we establish that yoga is about an awareness of all the parts of ourselves, good and bad, we’re better able to move into our discomforts.

Allowing discomfort in and watching as it subsides, we no longer identify with it in the same way.

The more you’re able to healthily express the anger you’re holding back, or sit through physical strains while maintaining your breath, the more you’ll learn to be content with discomfort. In this way it will no longer have a strangle hold over you.

The person who has just started yoga will learn that it’s ok to not be flexible/strong when we begin, and it’s ok if we spend 10 minutes of meditation thinking and not feeling very enlightened. The essence of the practice lies in the awareness of our strengths and weaknesses and to be contented with them. We never get ‘good’ at yoga, there’s nowhere to go.

The people who do yoga, but are overly focused on the external will start to focus more internally, and vice versa. Yoga is all about BALANCE, some find it easier to just do poses and some find it easier to work through their inner landscape.

It’s important to maintain our strengths and also move into the areas we struggle with to create this balance:

Flexibility and Strength

Observation and Engagement

Stillness and Movement

Inner and Outer

Feminine and Masculine

Yin and Yang 

Tagged with: Yoga

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