So I’m driving down Wilshire Boulevard today and I see this license plate holder that says “I’d rather be doing yoga.” And it really gets me thinking. For two reasons. One, is that yoga is not something you do (at least not in the sense that most Angelenos think it’s done). Yoga is something you practice. And two, no matter how much you may love your asana practice, a yoga practitioner is someone who is content with—and willing to live within—the moment. Not someone who is forever wishing to be somewhere else.
It is unfortunate how many people do asana without practicing yoga at all. Yoga is not a defined action. It is not a series of poses completed in a daily two-hour session. It’s not the new Tae-Bo or Spinning. Yoga is a process. It is a lifelong commitment. It is presence and awareness, growth and enlightenment.
A true yoga practitioner wouldn’t rather be anywhere at any time. She’d understand that life is too short and that every moment is worth living for what it is, not what she wishes it would be. He’d understand that an asana practice that is filled with intention lays a foundation for an entire life full of meaning.
The “rather do yoga” phenomenon reminds me of the perennially American sentiment of “living for the weekend.” It’s always been amazing to me how many people live for the weekend and think that they are living at all. After all, you live for the weekend and you’ve just wished away five-sevenths of your life!
If you’re looking for that perfect license plate holder, how about “I’d rather be right here, right now.” Then you’d know you’re doing yoga.