To Be or Not to Be…Pushy about Yoga…
When I am passionate about something, I want to share my joy and enthusiasm with everyone. This has been especially true with my love for yoga. Through the years, as my love affair with yoga has blossomed and grown, I wanted those closest to me, not only to reap the benefits, but to experience this pure bliss. However, I noticed I began feeling somewhat disappointed when others would not join in my practice or share the same feelings. Then, a few months ago, I had somewhat of an “Ah-Ha” moment of which I am most grateful. During a conversation with another lover of yoga, I realized it is not for everyone and that is okay. To my delight, I found, once I acknowledged this, accepted this, respected this, and kindly “backed off”, loved ones have come to love and appreciate yoga on their own terms.
Over the past few years, when my passion for yoga really heightened, I wanted to share this pleasure with loved ones. I often would coordinate yoga outings such as “yoga in the vineyards” so I could combine my love for yoga with my love for my family, assuming they would fall in love with yoga. I even bought a yoga groupon as a gift last year in hopes that it would be used to alleviate stress and promote wellness. Though as previously mentioned, I was often discouraged when others were not embracing the practice. I often thought “if only they did yoga, then…” which was not a fair and kind thought. I was not being respectful to my loved ones thoughts and feelings. I didn’t realize that it’s not for everyone, nor did I realize everyone’s yoga experience is different. I was ignorant to the fact that some may have felt it was too slow paced, while others may have found it challenging; some may have saw themselves as “not good enough”, others felt intimidated. These thoughts are common to many who are afraid to practice yoga and even to those who do regularly practice.
When I finally let go of my ego, I was able to respect my loved ones’ relationship with yoga. It was liberating yet I also felt humbled by it. I did not want to come across as being too pushy or assume I knew what’s best for everyone; I was just trying to share my passion. However, along the way, my passionate self did not allow me to focus on the wants and desires of others; I was only focusing on my own.
A funny thing happen when I stopped “pushing” yoga onto people. I found loved ones were getting into the practice on their own. I was thrilled, when my sister told me she had started practicing yoga at home and my heart filled with joy because I knew how beneficial it would be for her overall health. When my mother told me she is going to come to Sangha Space (after me asking her over two years) and even bought yoga clothes, I was elated and just wanted to hug her through the phone. Though, both times, I was mindful to respect them and not go on about how wonderful it’s going to be. I knew it was something that would or would not be discovered on their own.
Through this experience I realized that sometimes being passionate about something may go a little too far. In wanting everyone to experience the same joys I experience, I lost sight that we are all unique and all have different passions and that is okay. I can share my joys but I need to be respectful that others may not find it as enjoyable. I also realized and appreciated how much I love being part of a yoga community. Because in this, I can be passionate about my love for yoga and I know people may be feeling a similar way. Though, I need to remember to be mindful that each individual’s relationship with yoga will not mimic mine-and that is okay.
“Change your expectation for appreciation and your world changes with you.” ~Tony Robbins