I’m a bad yogi. It’s true. I’m a meat eating, weight lifting, beer drinking, realist who loves to practice yoga. I don’t like crystals, I’m not spiritual, and my Sanskrit is terrible.
When I got serious about yoga, I really tried to to live a more “yogic” lifestyle. I changed the way I ate, I dry-brushed and oil pulled, I would talk about energy and chakras, I wore a mala like I knew what to do with it, I felt guilty if I didn’t practice an hour every day, and I gave up meat to practice ahimsa.
I’ve been vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, you name it I’ve tried it. I practiced daily, felt guilty if I didn’t get my daily green juice, always ordered the salad when I really wanted a steak, and would force myself to meditate.
It took me a long time to realize that’s not me. I am a total yoga poser.
This proved especially difficult when I began teaching, and going through teacher training. I would try to be like my favorite teachers – motivational, inspirational, sometimes spiritual. I couldn’t do it. It came off forced, not genuine, and I just felt silly. Wasn’t me.
I was really doubting myself going into my last teacher training module. Maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be a yoga teacher? Just when I needed it most, our teacher, Rocky said something to us that I think about every time I go in to teach. He said that as yoga teachers sometimes we’re expected to inspire our students, to turn their day around, to say something profound, but that is entirely too much pressure to put on your self. Your job is to teach yoga poses. That’s it. He didn’t know this at the time, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.
Over the last year, I’ve come to realize I don’t need to be that perfect yogi I have imagined. I don’t need to be vegan, I don’t need to wear a mala (although I still wear them when the mood strikes), I don’t need to give up my other forms of exercise to devote myself to the practice, I don’t need to avoid students at the grocery store because I have Oreos in my cart.
I’m a yogi, but I love hard workouts and pushing my body to its limits, I love gluten, I love Prairie Bombs, I love Clorox, and I love yoga.
It has given me body awareness and strength. It helps me recover from weight lifting sessions. It keeps my body safe when I try to max out on a squat. It keeps my muscles loose and my body from becoming too tight. It keeps my mind clear and focused. It has taught me to recognize what my body needs. It gives me peace as I’m moving my body with my breath. I learn something new about myself everytime I come to my mat and it keeps me coming back for more.
Yoga can be whatever you need it to be. It can be your sole form of exercise, it can be your religion, it can be a cross training tool, or it can be the way you heal your body. Yoga is exactly what you need, and you don’t have to fit a certain mold to practice it.
My name is Cassie and I’m a bad yogi.
You can find me at Yoga at Tiffany’s in Norman, Climb Up in Norman, or Next Level Fitness Studio in Moore. If you’re interested in private sessions please email email@example.com to set up an appointment.