Yoga Hurt Me
The irrational placement of blame. We’ve all done it. You practice a yoga posture, your body gets hurt, and you blame yoga. You put on a pair athletic pants, they don’t fit properly and make you feel fat, so you blame yoga. You can’t bind in Marichyasana D, so you blame yoga.
Why is our natural inclination to place blame when things do not go our way? Why have we stopped assuming responsibility in our yoga practice? You might be reading this and thinking to yourself “This chick’s got it all wrong… I don’t do that!” Really? Like, really really?
I’ve fallen victim to this just as much as anyone else. Even though it's not right, sometimes it’s easier to blame something outside of myself; self-inquiry and introspection are hard!
I’ve recently been working on learning how to do a drop-back. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s dropping back into a backbend from a standing position. That move was so easy when I was six years old! At the age of 34, it feels as difficult as climbing Mount Everest. It is also the seemingly insurmountable challenge that separates me from Primary Series and Intermediate Series.
As someone who has struggled with back issues for many years, it’s easy for me to blame my spine for my inability to perform this extraordinarily difficult posture. I fall back on my habitual tendency to make excuses and place blame when shit gets hard… My spine isn’t strong or healthy enough for drop-backs. If I do drop-backs with regularity, I am putting my spine in danger. Because I have back issues, I should take it easy and steer clear of extreme back bending. It must be these crazy back bends and drop-backs that have caused the herniated discs in my spine to flare.
But is any of that actually true? Or am I making excuses and placing blame as a means of avoidance?
Back bends and drop-backs did not cause the herniated discs in my spine to flare; yoga didn’t hurt me… I hurt myself! I wasn’t being mindful while practicing. I went too far and my spine reacted badly. It’s easier to pawn this mistake off than to take responsibility. However, that sort of behavior gets me nowhere.
Excuses and placing blame limit our ability to make progress. Why? Because lack of responsibility hinders self-growth and actualization. Without recognizing our habitual patterns and the ways in which we place blame, we will never truly learn to love and accept ourselves and our flaws.
Moral of the story? If you want to get to know yourself and advance within the spiritual practice of yoga, start taking responsibility for your actions and quit placing blame. As uncomfortable as it can sometimes feel, the rewards are so much greater.
We can do anything we set our minds to. No excuses. No blame.