The Subversive Yogi

image from here.

Yesterday, a friend and I did yoga together. He studies in a much different way than I do, so I was interested to hear about what he does when he practices. Shockingly enough (I guess I shouldn’t be shocked) our two styles had plenty of common ground.

The most fun part of it, though, was that no money changed hands, no flyers were put up, no space was rented. There was no teacher or owner or studio…we just decided to do yoga and did it. (Interspersed with plenty dog-petting which was plenty enjoyable in its own rite, I assure you. I also experienced what it was like to do a series of sun salutations whilst a good deal of my mat was covered in Greater Swiss Mountain dog. In a word: delightful.)

There may be a lot of disagreement about what yoga “should” be, especially in its youthful form in the West. There are people (like me!) who spend a lot of their time thinking about how a yoga practice fits into a modern, capitalist world. There may be a lot of drama surrounding our practice as we deal with our schedules, our accessories, and other humans.

But this casual living room practice made me realize how this yoga thing is such a gift, and a beautifully simple and malleable one, at that.

Wherever I go,
no matter what the state of government,
no matter what the political climate,
no matter what rights have been denied to me,
no matter how rich or poor I become,

I have a tool to connect to others.
I have a tool to promote self-respect and inter-human respect.
I have a tool to find myself more at home in the moment.
I have a tool to find myself more at home in my mind and body.

All my possessions may go,
all my friends may go,
all my fancy yoga pants may go,

but as long as I have this breath, I have yoga.

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