When I first started yoga, my teacher told the class that once you discovered the benefits of it, you'd develop an urge to push yoga on everyone you met.
Well, yes. That's true. As many of my friends can attest. Your back hurts? Do yoga! You get headaches? Do yoga! You dislocated your shoulder? Maybe you shouldn't do yoga right now!
The good news is I've found my kin in yoga teacher training. My new yoga friends (that's what I call them even if they don't know they're my new friends) also want to push yoga on the entire world. I'm pretty sure that's the reason we're all there.
In a recent discussion in yoga teacher school, one of my new yoga friends said "sometimes I think we're all like Wolverine." Not with metal infused into our hands, but rather that our bodies are self-healing.
And I don't disagree. I get migraines and I have anxiety and I don't always sleep great so I've taken plenty of drugs to remedy these afflictions. Of the legal variety. But I don't love the idea of taking a pill to fix everything because really, you're just fixing the symptom, not the problem. However, sometimes it's just necessary to get on with your day. I certainly do love me some Tylenol 3s when I have a migraine.
A few weeks ago, a co-worker was complaining of a pain and numbness in his back. Which is not uncommon in my line of work. We're hunched over laptops all day, cranking out brilliant creative ideas with less than perfect posture. I told him about my amazing physiotherapist who's office happened to me a 7-minute walk from our work. But he insisted on seeing his doctor. Who then prescribed painkillers.
I held my judgement because I'm pretty sure that would make me a hypocrite. But wouldn't it be so much easier on one's body to address what's really causing the pain? And sometimes I feel like this should apply to emotional pain too. Like stress and anxiety and depression and what have you.
Which leads me to preaching about my next yogi point. Meditation can come across as a pretty kooky idea. The idea of candles and chanting and long robes comes to mind. But you know what? Meditation is just breathing. That's it. Pay attention to your breath and count each exhale starting at one and going to ten.
Did you do it? Now look at you! You're meditating! And you're not kooky!
Well maybe you are, but whatever.
If you've ever had a freak out or a complete meltdown, not that I would know anything about that because I totally have my shit together, people always tell you to take a deep breath. There's a reason for that. Paying attention to your breath can calm you down.
So next time you go to yell at a passing car or want to send a passive aggressive email to a co-worker (everyone knows a mean email with a winky face is still a mean email), think about the non-kooky lesson you learned today. And then go tell someone about it.