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Wellness

Why Yoga Doesn’t Work For Me

Yoga is a great tool for helping you achieve and maintain stress- and pain-free lifestyle, but I’m convinced it’s not the cure-all you may think. Here’s why I think so. Yoga is all about alignment of the body and mind for various goals. But it’s not enough for most people to maintain this alignment through yoga practice. After awhile of practicing yoga, many people get bored of it and feel the need for exercise or movement. But if they continue to practice this way, they won’t achieve the stress-free, pain-free lifestyle. Most yogis and yoga teachers know that this kind of conditioning is what Yoga is all about.

If you’ve been to a yoga studio, you may have noticed the big screens that display videos and photographs. There are countless tips in the yoga gurus’ books and videos and even movies in which yogis and yoginis say how great it was to be born to practice yoga, and how wonderful it feels to be so connected with the universe. There is something very attractive and comforting about these videos and these books and movies. I agree with all of this. But they are not what ultimately leads to your achieving your goals. If you want to improve your health or your overall outlook on life, you need more than just a “teacher” who can tell you how to do things. You need the discipline and practice.

You need to see the things for themselves instead of hearing the words of a teacher.

A teacher can give you “the tools” but only because they can offer up such praise, and these praise may be well-meaning or it may be more of a “let’s get you to be great now” approach.

For most of us, the only way that you’re ever going to see anything objectively is when you have the discipline to see things for themselves instead of just hearing words. Even a small amount of discipline (and the help we get from other people) is helpful in making this happen. What I am trying to say about myself is that I had to begin this practice by finding my own path, and that path was not the one that yoga suggested. It wasn’t something anyone gave me or said would get me where I wanted to go. It was all about the discipline. Yoga works a lot of the time, but the most important part is the discipline it takes to do it right. It’s a huge challenge to be strong and fit and strong-willed and healthy. And even when they are, they have to be dedicated to it. They have to do it until it’s not fun anymore, or they get bored. You can’t always have a “teacher” or someone who offers up wisdom and motivation. Your inner self is the only teacher. You can learn yoga from yourself by practicing and maintaining your own alignment and discipline.

We all have inner paths and disciplines that are not visible, but that are real.

I had to make sacrifices in my own life to accomplish the goals I have today. I had to let go of a few goals (like getting a job, having a family and building a life) in order to focus all my energy on yoga. And this is ok. If you’re committed to achieving your goals, you need to make compromises. You need to do things that are uncomfortable in order to push yourself past what you’d prefer. If your inner self is not aligned towards achieving your goals, you probably won’t achieve them. And this isn’t an excuse to give up! Doing what feels uncomfortable is the only way you can see your inner self for what it is: a force for good rather than a force for evil. And it is in alignment with what you want that you can begin to see the true beauty of all these things as they come into being.

If you don’t have a teacher in your life, if your teacher is your ex-husband, if your teacher is your mother, if it’s just a part of your life, it’s all the same for you. You have to be willing to look inward at your own weaknesses and shortcomings and find the “weakness” that is preventing you from moving on to whatever the next next phase of your life is. Find it and get it out, and everything else is going to fall into place.  

Find Your Inner Teacher

Now, the real reason I believe that the true goal of life is an alignment with nature, which is why I like to call it “the beauty of things”, is because you are not really a self. You are not a “me”, but rather a “witness” that is in alignment with your universe.