Today I got a nickname, the Naughty Yogi… And I liked it! When you do a lot of ‘Om-ing’ if you’re not careful it can make you feel far too serious. This so-called path to enlightenment or working towards awareness or self-improvement of any kind is our natural yearning towards greater happiness and bliss. Yet in this trying to be a better person, we sometimes pproach it as a project like we do our work and we make it so effortful and so focussed that we might lose sight of the ability to live life joyfully.
There may be a tendency to feel that because we practice yoga and meditate that we have to behave a certain way in all circumstances and that we have to fit into a ‘yoga model’. That way of thinking makes me want to rebel, I like the word rebel a whole lot, because after all what is rebelling? Is it really just being you? Is it deciding that there are no shoulds for you that don’t come from your own truths and desires? Deciding that there is no standard or uniform to fit in you’re actually freeing yourself to be exactly who you are. And for me, well if you know me, you know that I’m not such a serious person. Is that so scandalous (another great word wink wink)? Thinking we need to fit into this ‘yoga model’ or image is ironic really, because for me yoga (in all its aspects) is a quest for freedom to live my purpose and to be my authentic self.
So I’m wondering, is this true for you also? As you start to explore the expansive breadth and depth of all the offerings of yoga and all that it entails, how does it make you feel? Can you inviting a feeling of exploration verses that feeling of there being so much left to do. Can you focus your mind set to it being like an exciting trip; where it’s true, the saying that the journey is really where all the fun is. I invite you to reflect on that and to approach your journey and your yoga, whatever it is for you, with a giggle and a smile and a gentle touch when you catch yourself measuring what you’ve done so far.
Do I like yoga? Well in fact I really, really love it! It has completely changed my life in so many incredible ways and with so many incredible people. I feel a strong commitment to the practises I’ve chosen to enrich my life with. And in fact I feel a strong sense of devotion. Do I fit in the ‘yoga model’, eating vegetarian, abstaining from alcohol, always practicing kindness and compassion? No, I don’t, and I’m ok with that, I know it’s a work in progress. I still eat some meat, I still like to have a drink now and then, and I’m not always mindful with my thoughts words and actions. I’m ok being the Naughty Yogi because my intention is pure, I’m human and I’m learning. As my teacher JP Tambly-Sabo says, always moving towards!
On this journey, most of us are not are not becoming Saints, we’re living this human experience and finding ways to cultivate genuine happiness for the benefit of ourselves and all others. So may your journey be fulfilling and a little bit naughty. If I can offer you any advice I would say this: “loosen your grip and enjoy the ride” , keep moving towards and let the goodness within you shine brightly”
(Thank you to my dear friend Donna who gifted me with the handle of the naughty Yogi)