Jun 7, 2013

Yoga Is Not Evil, Duh

I'm kinda mad at the Tea Partier guy for saying that yoga is evil. (ICYMI: http://aattp.org/tea-partier-do-yoga-and-you-get-filled-with-satan/)

Even though I'd like to think that most people will automatically assume that the guy is nutballs crazy, I fear there will be more than a few who will believe him, as well as a few who had already believed such nonsense.

And, sure, you could argue, so what? Let them have their crazy, nutball theories, how's that affect your life?

However, not too long ago I worked with someone who was highly educated and actually believed that if you did not pray or accept Jesus or whatever that while in a meditative state or while doing yoga, demons could invade your soul. Seriously? Demons?

But here's the thing... Here's why it bugs me. I notice things in the news like this all the time. I forget now where and such, but there were a group of Christian parents trying to get rid of yoga at a school because they said it was a religious practice and shouldn't be allowed in schools. Ironically, those same types of people want prayer to be allowed in school, as well as nativity displays. So, I guess "religious" practices are cool *only* if Christian. All else must go.

The dumb thing is, yoga, while it may have some ties to Eastern Philosophies (or "religions"), is really just a set of stretches and poses. It's a sport. A form of exercise. Nothing more, nothing less - if all you practice is the moves.

And it's incredibly good for you.

While experiencing some of the worst times of my life, yoga and exercise has always lifted my spirits.

Yoga poses are long, they require patience and inner strength - both physically and mentally. While holding those poses and stretching my body into odd positions, I feel all these negative emotions in my body unlock and just wash away. I feel freer, lighter, more focused, and more clear-minded. Not empty headed. There's a difference. And, yes, while you're clear-minded, your own personal "demons" from your past might bubble up, but not like actual, real demons. Sometimes I've even broken down and bawled like a baby, unlocking deep traumas. Afterwards I feel refreshed, more alive, ready to take on any obstacle. It's amazing, really.

Now, I suppose, if you're living a lie, keeping some dark secret hidden from the world, then maybe, just maybe, yoga would be evil to you, because it'll force you to face yourself in the quiet moments, in the silence of your mind. Force you to face your inner "demons." But that is a good thing!! You shouldn't be living a lie, you shouldn't have dark secrets.

I had dark secrets. Really, truly dark ones that shattered my soul into a million pieces and made me despise myself. I screamed, I kicked, I cried. I did not want to face them. I did not want to reveal them. To myself or others. But then one day I just let go.  I faced them and I overcame them and doing so made me stronger and enforced the positive relationships in my life, while driving out the negative.

Soon I had enough confidence to not only face all my own demons, but also own them, reveal them, share them with the world as a cautionary tale for others so that someone like me out there in the world struggling with her own "demons" could take solace in my experience and fight to get her life back on track, too.

Yoga, among many other things, helped me to become what I always wanted to be but was always too afraid to fully realize.

Perhaps, this Tea Partier guy has his own dark secrets he doesn't want to face and that's why he hates yoga so much. Or, maybe he's just an asshat. Either way, I challenge anyone struggling with trauma and other struggles to try yoga. It just might change your life...for the better.

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