Is Yoga Supposed to be Fun???
OK, I’m going to finally take the plunge and write a blog for Ride The Breath. It’s been a topic of discussion for Kathy and I for a while, but alas, life’s busy pursuits have always managed to get in the way. Or, should I just admit that I’ve never made it a priority? We all know the answer to that one.
Our intention for the blog is to present some ideas and topics about yoga and its practice which we’ve had on our minds for some time; and try to stimulate productive discussion within the community. We do not expect everyone to agree with our musings, and in fact, some of them may seem controversial, or go against the prevailing grain. We really want to put some things “out there” and see what you think. There is no right or wrong answer…..
Is Yoga Practice Supposed to be Fun?
Let’s start out with one of my personal favorites….Is Yoga Practice Supposed to be Fun? The short answer is…..sometimes; but let me digress and come back to that. Many times we’ve heard students and teachers alike talking about how yoga class and practice should be FUN; and frankly, that response and perspective has gnawed at me for many years. Sure, I’ll admit that there have been many times when I’ve “had fun” in class and during practice, but I’ve never expected “fun” to be the end result or outcome. That perspective has always seemed too narrow and limiting in terms of what a long-term and consistent yoga practice has to offer a person. If your only goal or motivation in practicing yoga is to “have fun”, then I believe you’re setting yourself up for eventual disappointment.
Instead of focusing on having fun, I prefer to have the mindset that yoga should be “rewarding”. At its heart, Yoga is a practice of honest and earnest self-inquiry. It is a method to help each practitioner gain deep and profound insights into the true nature of the body-mind. That is why the system came into being several thousand years ago.
So, back to the original question?..... can you have fun while pursuing this path? Of course you can, but that is only a small piece of the puzzle. In addition to all of its positive attributes, Yoga practice is also difficult, demanding, frustrating, demoralizing,….you get the picture. In short, if your yoga practice is based on honest self-inquiry, it should be a perfect mirror for your life. All of the trials, tribulations, successes, loves, pains, happiness, and sadness that you experience in daily life manifest on the mat as well. When we look at those honestly and consistently through our practice, we gain insight and begin to recognize our innate beauty as well as make behavioral changes to become better human beings. There are times when that is fun, and there are times when it is not. However, I guarantee it will ultimately be “rewarding” if you put in the work.