Me: 29-year-old Korean-American New Yorker with no tolerance for bullsh*t.
Suffice it to say, I roll my eyes at all yoga classes and teachers that lure sycophants seeking “self-love and acceptance” with cliches, feel-good platitudes, and an overwhelming use of visual metaphors. Also suffice it to say, I have to hold back vomit at the same “yogis” conveniently placing themselves at the front of the class to show off their devotion to the practice of yoga in the form of perfect handstands and letting their armpit hair grow out. In the U.S. yoga is marketed and approached as either purely a form of exercise or as a pseudo-religious escape from our abhorrent “western” ways; neither of which sits well with me.
So, how is it that in just a little over one year I find myself in Ubud for four weeks in a yoga teacher training course instagramming my teekis?
Well despite the apparent bastardization of yoga in the U.S., I always had an open mind to it, I just could never bring myself to an actual class. It was only after moving to Singapore, where the attitude is more Nike (“Just Do It”) that I could ease into this little thing called yoga that everyone’s been talking about. Except, there was no easing in. Like all ardant judgemental b*tches I fell hard and fast.
In the ensuing year, I was all about #yogaeverydamnday. Not only did I instill a daily practice, but I maintained it through all my travels, which was quite considerable. All together I visited over 100 yoga studios from Estonia to Guatemala. This forced me to explore different styles of yoga, get creative in finding ways to practice (airplane yoga anyone?), and discover the plethora of perspectives of yoga I knew was out there.
My takeaways and growth were one in the same. Practice and the rest will come. Don’t analyze or judge. Just do yo thang! And let others find their own way as you’ve found yours. Also, yoga is so many things to different people. Despite how misguided or even flat out wrong some methods are, it’s still all good.
So who am I now?
A 29-year-old Korean-American New Yorker with no tolerance for bullsh*t, but what’s that got to do with yoga?
P.S. Coming full circle, what do I think of those same yoga studios I scoffed at and dismissed? Still vomit-inducing, but it doesn’t affect my practice, if anything it has helped me work on my jalandhara bandha 😉