The yoga industry puts a tremendous amount of pressure on its participants and gurus to live the “yogi new aged hippie lifestyle”. This swarming pressure to live the perfect yogi life is actually not what yoga is all about. In fact, yoga encourages a neutral mindset, so that the goals you achieve are met naturally and not forcefully. Focus is still important and should not be stooped beneath a non-judgmental attitude.
Being neutral about your yoga lifestyle is having the ability to go with the flow, but at the same time not stop in front of a challenge. Avoid making ultimatums and creating obsessions that feel forced and unnatural. If you are neurotic, fiery and competitive in nature, use these qualities in your yoga practice and do not change who you are just so that you can fit into the yoga world. When we try to change our natural and nonthreatening traits, the yoga lifestyle becomes filled with chores that we don’t want to attend to.
The yoga lifestyle should not require more energy than the lifestyle before it; instead it should use the same energy you had been using, just in a more functional way. Stop waking up in morning demanding yourself to be a vegan eating, free spirited yogi goddess, because frankly that might not be who you are and that’s okay. Take the neutral perspective, do what feels good and let your personality shine just the way it is. Yoga is for everyone, because it doesn’t have to change your life completely, it just has to make it better.
Natalie Carusi, Nurse & Yoga Instructor