A little over a year ago, I started this blog as a way of understanding my own disenchantment with yoga. Yoga was something I had loved so much for so long, and it kind of broke my heart to recognize that my feelings about it were shifting.
Of course there were still parts of it I loved, but it was starting to feel like a burden somehow; like yoga was actually causing more stress for me than it was alleviating.
But y’all. I have recently realized something quite amazing…
I don’t feel disenchanted anymore!
Maybe it’s the pandemic or maybe I’m just starting to grow up. I certainly have LOTS of feelings right now (read my last post if you need some examples), but disenchantment is no longer one of them! In fact, I’d say that I am experiencing the opposite of disenchantment.
But what is the opposite of disenchantment? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Etymologically, it seems like it should be “enchantment,” right? But that sounds so fake to me. Like some sort of Disney fabrication.
To me, the opposite of disenchantment is something else entirely. To me, the opposite of disenchantment is curiosity.
I actually feel curious about my yoga again, and that makes me so stinking happy. And this blog as well as you, dear reader, have been absolutely central to my finding my way to the other side of disenchantment. For that, I seriously cannot thank you enough.
Curiosity is such a wonderful feeling. It feels like being really alive, like being open to discovery. Curiosity feels engaging and unburdened. If there is nothing in your life that you feel curious about right now, I highly recommend finding something. And it doesn’t have to be deep or profound or earth shattering. Simply the act of allowing yourself to be open enough to experience curiosity is a big and awesome thing.
Recently, my curiosity has lead me to explore lots of things. In terms of yoga, my curiosity has lead me down the path of trying to figure out what exactly made me fall in love with yoga in the first place.
When I first asked myself this question, the answer came quickly; I fell in love with yoga because it always made me feel better. I would walk into class feeling one way, and I would leave feeling another way.
But that answer just feels so vague. What part of me was it that was “feeling better?” Was it my body? My brain? What?
Of course you can’t really separate those things, especially in yoga. It involves all aspects of yourself. Side note: that is why I absolutely hate when some yoga teachers start off class by asking students to “leave the rest of your day at the door” once you step onto your mat. Screw that. Your day is part of you, and you shouldn’t leave any part of yourself behind when you step onto your mat. Also, you don’t really need a mat. But I am getting off topic here. These are topics for future posts. Back to the post at hand…
In trying to get to the bottom of how exactly yoga made me feel better, I realized that it was one of the very first tools I had ever learned for calming myself. I would walk into class feeling one way and would emerge feeling calmer. That was what made me fall for yoga; it was the first thing that I recognized as making me feel truly calm.
As I have written about in previous posts, anxiety has always been a prominent part of my life. So feeling calm after yoga was a very big deal for me. That calm didn’t always last long, but man it felt good while it did! It wasn’t like my anxiety had been taken away completely or anything. But the volume of it got turned way down, at least temporarily.
As the years wore on, my relationship with yoga got more complicated. I started teaching it professionally, which was both a blessing and a curse. I still loved it, but it was also my job, and it had all the baggage that comes along with that.
I fell into the mindset that in order to really benefit from yoga, I had to practice it for hours a day and buy into the crap that goes along with “yoga culture” in the West. I ended up getting injured frequently, and I realized that what had been a de-stressor in my life had in fact become a stressor. It is unsurprising that disenchantment ensued.
But part of me is glad that it did. It has lead me to figure out what I value most about my own personal yoga practice. And that is its ability to add much-needed calm to my life if I practice in the way that works for me. And the way it works for me requires two things: simplicity and regularity.
I am excited to announce that I am in the final stages of creating an online yoga program that is all about an extremely simple (and short) daily yoga practice that is designed entirely for bringing more calm into your life. It will likely be officially launching in March, but I have two spots left in my pilot group for a significantly reduced price. If that is something you are interested in (or just curious about…), click here to fill out a survey that will put you on the invite list.
I’ll close by thanking all of you again for the gift of your readership. The fact that you take time out of your lives to read my words is so humbling, and I really am incredibly grateful. And even though I don’t feel disenchanted anymore, this blog ain’t going anywhere! And I’m also not changing the name because I love it.
Feel free to let me know in the comments what is piquing your curiosity these days. I’d love to hear.