Greedy Yoga

We live in an instant gratification society. Text messages, microwave ovens, teletransportation. Okay…we don’t have teletransportation yet. But, admit it, you’d take it if we did.

Everyone wants everything and they want it today. Yesterday.

In yoga, this is a problem.

Practitioners have become greedy in their practice. Wherein yoga was once a holistic, lifelong practice of patience and evolution, today–more than anything–it’s just a physical workout that seeks immediate results and egotistical gratification.

Let’s pretend this is not an issue in regards to the yoga tradition and philosophy of mental and spiritual dedication and discipline. As if yoga were, in fact, nothing but the practice of asana. Instagram would like you to believe that anyway. And Instagram rules! So…

Say hello to Mr. Chiropractor. Or, if you’re really lucky, Mr. Orthopedist.

Your asana practice is meant to unfold over time. Not overnight.

So many yoga practitioners (you can’t really call them yogi/nis) these days are so eager to just nail their poses that they force themselves into things they have no business being in. It’s like applying to be CEO when you haven’t even qualified for the mailroom. You may get lucky and get the job, but there’s a really good chance you’re going to crap it up.

Patience, I hear, is a virtue. Everything in good time.

If you are practicing your asanas with the sole goal of accomplishment with no mind for form, safety, or–well–mindfulness, you are not only not doing yourself any favors. Not only asking (practically begging) for injuries. But, quite frankly, you are not even practicing yoga.

Aparigraha, or non-greed, is one of the yamas of the Astanga. It’s sort of important.

Greed takes many forms, but always comes back to the basic kernel: taking what is not yours.

If you haven’t done the work, if you haven’t practiced with sound mechanics, if you haven’t earned that badge, no wine before its time.

Build a foundation. Start with the basics. Master them. Build upon them. Evolve.

Even the most complex yoga poses rely on your comfort with the fundamentals. The only part of you that needs to push so far beyond where you are ready to go is your ego. And it’s time to let go of that shit.

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