It has been quite a long time since I’ve blogged. I’ve written novels in my head, but actually having the time to sit down and write it is the problem. However, recently I had a student ask me about my own personal practice and in my response I came to the realization that I might be a yoga snob! Holy crap!, am I a uppity yogi? It hit me like a ton of bricks, because I’ve always considered myself part of the yogi community. So the mere thought of myself being a snob is pretty disturbing. After I got home and was able to really sit with my thoughts I asked myself a few questions to maybe make sense of my new found title. Was being a snob really all that bad? What is a snob? Or maybe I wasn’t a snob at all, maybe titles are the snobs. So first things first: What is a snob?
Snob: A snob is a person who believes a correspondence between status and human worth. The term also refers to a person who believes that some people are inherently inferior to him or her for any one of a variety of reasons, including real or supposed intellect, wealth, education, ancestry, power, physical strength, class, taste, beauty, nationality, fame, extreme success of a family member or friend, etc. Often this form of snobbery reflects the snob's personal attributes.
Oh no! I am not a snob by the means of Wikipedia for sure. Not even close to who I am. So, I’ve cleared that matter, but there is still a problem, I have some issues with the practice of my asanas. And by no means do I ever what to consider myself better than anyone, so the search continued until I started to ask deeper questions. The real matter was I’ve become a hobbit in my actual asana practice, and when students ask about advice on studio practices I’m a bit stuck. Recently in the last few months my teaching schedule has doubled, in addition to teaching 10-15 classes a week, I’m also recording 2 classes a week on my phone, editing, recording audio, and publishing videos for virtual clients, still being a mom to two busy little girls, a wife to my husband of 10 years and trying to maintain some sort of myself, so there is really no more time for me to visit local studios. I use to love to drop in local studios and just be a student, now I only get that freedom when I’m away traveling, or trainings, or those extra mornings when I can pull myself away from life to visit my favorite Ashtanga studio in Durham. Here are a few ways to not become a Yoga Hobbit. It’s great to have a home practice, I’m always preaching to my students about being able to practice at home on your own, but it’s also important that we do visit studios, for the community aspect of it, it’s usually where we adults meet friends, it supports local small businesses, and it keeps you from becoming a Yoga Hobbit.
1. Once a month visit a studio you’ve never been to.
This is by far the easiest way to try something new. Studios pop up every week, so there shouldn’t be a shortage of places to try. I find using the Mindbody app is a great way to find studios close to you that maybe you didn’t know they were there. Read reviews, or maybe just go blindly into a new space, with an open heart and unroll your mat to new experiences.
2. Practice a style that’s different from your preferred style.
We all get caught up in what we like verses trying something we are not sure of, but yoga is about union and growth. We can’t grow if we stay in the same space. I practiced Vinyasa Flow for almost 6 years before I ever tried Ashtanga, and I was horrible at it, so bad that I didn’t even think of returning to that style until 3 years later. But after coming back with an open mind, and lots less ego I found it was humbling and quite refreshing to know I could learn more, and my glass needed a refill. I’ve tried just about every style out there and some I like, some I’d never do again, but I tried them, and that’s the beauty of the practice. So go try something new.
3. Find a Yoga partner to keep your practice fresh.
It is so hard to find a friend, and even harder to keep that friend. But if you’re one of the lucky ones who have a friend and they share your passion of unrolling the mat, make them your practice partner. You both will hold each other accountable and bring new ideas to one another. Having someone next to you allows for energy to bounce and create a universal pull of magic, who doesn’t need a little magic in their lives? So find that partner, and get to sharing the magic.
4. Change your home practice location.
If you’re one of the lucky ones you have a studio of your own, and you can change your space accordingly. However some of us just have a corner or maybe even just the kitchen floor, but don’t let that stop you from freshening up that space. Change the planets in your practice space. Use new scents and oils with the change of the seasons, or your moods. If you can’t revive your actual space, try a new location all together. Go outside and practice in your backyard. Try the park, that fishing pier, the local walking trail, maybe even the hallway while you wait for your kids dance class to end. Just don’t be afraid to practice anywhere.
Look life is a major juggling act, and sometimes we get so busy we forget that there is a vast world outside of our own little universe. I lost myself in my own world and I forgot that I too need to try new things, even when I don’t think I have enough time to do so. We’ve all seen that like hobbit that locks himself in his cave, and could care less about the changes that are happening outside that rock, but one day that rock is going to crumble and that little lonely hobbit is going to have to change, or become stuck right there. So start the change now. Try something new so you’re not that Yoga Snob, or a Yoga Hobbit.