confessions of a yoga douche

so there’s this picture going around the internet of a guy doing a modified pincha mayurasana (forearm balance) in the middle of a bikram studio with a bunch of indignant girls sitting around, utterly unamused. on it is the caption “don’t be a yoga douche”. it’s gotten hundreds of “likes” on facebook, followed by hundreds of comments. and i have a confession to make. i’m a yoga douche.

i like to jump into handstand in the middle of the sun salutations…twice. i like to take funky transitions out of arm balances. i like to push myself to my edges. but please don’t think i’m doing this for you. i don’t want an audience. i just want to practice. and that’s my practice.

i guess there are some people out there who do this stuff looking for attention. i promise that’s not me. i’m working on some stuff that challenges me. and, yes, one day i’d like to be that super-douche who can press up effortlessly into a handstand in her sleep. that may or may not ever happen for me, but i’m sure enjoying the process.

when i practice, i’m not looking around the room to see what anyone else is doing. i don’t care what anyone else is doing. that’s their business. their personal practice. so why are people so concerned with what the yoga douches are doing?

ultimately, it comes back to ego. you don’t hate me. your ego does. because maybe i can do something that you can’t do and that makes you feel frustrated or jealous or inferior or…i don’t know. what comes up for you? hell, i’ve watched certain yogi/nis practice and felt jealous. i’ll admit it. but part of the practice is letting go of my ego, and releasing my judgement of them, and of me. we are both just doing the best we can.

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4 Comments

  1. Lacifur on January 1, 2012 at 2:00 am01

    I like your thoughtful explanation about the caption of this image.

    In every yoga practitioner’s head exists a teacher’s and a judge’s voice. If we simply judge each situation, we are listening to the judge and not the teacher. Instead of jumping back into this habit that I believe we aim to break through our practice, why not listen to the internal teacher’s voice and help ourselves learn from each situation instead.

    Also, what does something happening on some other person’s mat have to do with me? If we get this serious about things, then we just hinder the pathway to Samadhi.

    • Shana on June 21, 2023 at 2:00 pm06

      Thank you so much! Sadly, I am just seeing your comment now…11 years later!
      On the off-chance that you see this comment, I do agree. What happens on someone else’s mat has nothing to do with me or my practice.
      Our internal voice is our best guide. 🙂

  2. Jared Quartell on June 21, 2023 at 2:00 am06

    By hand standing in the middle of class – and out of sequence – means you are not practicing with the class, you are not synchronising your energy with the rest of the class which disrupts the teacher and the rest of the class. That’s selfish. If you want to do hand stands and – as you say – you’re not doing it for the other students’ attention, then do your hand stands at home, alone and don’t disrupt the synchrony of a class

    • Shana on June 21, 2023 at 2:00 pm06

      Thank you for your opinion. If someone is doing something completely different from the rest of the class then, yes, I fully agree. But even as a teacher, I have to respectfully disagree as to whether handstanding to the front of the mat in Sun Salutations vs., say, stepping is acting out of synch or sequence with the rest of the class. Unless there is a specific reason why the students are being asked to lunge instead of jump/handstand, I don’t see any conflict in taking a different transition within the same asana sequence as the rest of the class. It doesn’t disrupt the sequence. In fact, I think that by allowing more advanced students to add what challenges or fulfills them into a practice, it creates a more diverse community where all levels can practice together instead of being segregated. In my classes, I encourage students to play and take deeper levels. It is their practice and ideally everyone leaves the class feeling fulfilled.

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