I’m a little bit obsessed with Yogalebrities. In an age where anyone can become a star (YouTube sensations, reality TV personalities, celebrity chefs), yogis are no different. Rachel Brathen. Kathryn Budig. Tara Stiles. A yogalebrity is a yoga teacher gaining notoriety in and out of the yoga world. They usually travel frequently, teach all around the world, teach to famous actors, and have very active Facebook and Instagram accounts ripe with photos of themselves in crazy advanced yoga postures in crazy obscure places. They are essentially cultivating their own brand of yoga.
Many yogalebrities also have perfect bodies, perfect faces and perfect alignment. I don’t think I’m trying to knock them here. More often than not I’m envious of what they do. I think: I wish I was in Paris one week and Australia the next! I wish yoga apparel companies sent me loads of pants in funky patterns for free! I wish I could stick that crazy handstand variation in the middle of a pasture with high heels and #nostretchypants. (P.S. who’s taking these pictures?!) I wish I had found yoga earlier so I could be more advanced now!
And so that’s my problem. Yogalebrities bring out all the negative, unattractive and yucky feelings that I try to keep at bay with my yoga practice. I came to yoga with a Type A personality, body image issues and a destructive habit of being overly critical with myself. Yoga has helped me free some of that up (and continues to do so!). Yoga is not macramé. You can’t “learn to do it” one rainy Sunday afternoon. Yoga is a continual practice that overtime cultivates discipline, patience and eventually acceptance.
With yogalebrities, we get a glimpse into the glamorous side of yoga. What we don’t get to see is the less-than-glamorous side of things. Flopping like a fish in a half moon to warrior 2 transition. Falling on your face out of an arm balance (my husband gets a weekly sneak-peak into this anti-glam…he meets my crash-landings with an exaggerated “ARE YOU OKAY?!!” to which I always respond “you have to fall when you’re learning to fly!!”). Or even feeling the unexpected lump rise in your throat and subsequent tears on your cheeks in a long pigeon hold.
We see yogalebrities with awesome endorsements and perfect scorpion backbends. But we don’t see how they got to where they are. All the kick-ups, belly flops, long hours and tears along the way. And let’s be honest. This is really the good stuff. This is where we learn and grow and blossom.
To quote Allison’s recent blog, “We spend so much energy focusing on that which is challenging that we can miss the better stuff.”
And with that, I’ll leave you with my favorite poem for this time of year.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.