3 Yoga Myths Debunked: Don’t be [April] Fooled!
by Eli Walker
Q: Why didn't the yogi buy the vacuum cleaner?
A: It came with too many attachments!
Once I had a super spiritual boyfriend, and he cheated on me. And he said, “No my love, I didn’t cheat on you to hurt you, I’m just teaching you a lesson about non-attachment.”
Let’s talk about healthy “attachments” vs. unhealthy “attachments.”
It’s ‘good’ to be healthfully attached to self-respect, thoughtful boundaries, and a feeling of health and over-all well-being.
It’s ‘bad’ to be attached to people, things, memories, places, cake, money, anxiety, shopping…you get the idea.
But, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Allow me to explain.
If you’re in a relationship and that person generally makes you feel like rainbows and butterflies, feeling attached to that human might make you THINK it’s healthy, a la the “over-all well-being” category. But don’t be [April] fooled, my friends! Attachments to things out of your control inevitably leads to suffering. You cannot control another—how they treat you, how they make you feel. You can only control how you respond to the situations that being in relationships bring you (…which are inevitably tumultuous because hi, none of us know what we’re doing here). I repeat: attachment to feelings and people always leads to suffering.
How to avoid this very human habit?
Vipassana meditation helped me loads in letting go of attachment to joy and aversion to suffering. WTF is Vipassana? Great Q. It’s a Buddhist meditation technique that teaches you presence by observing the physical sensations of the body sans judgment or support. I did mine in the Himalayas in India in a modest center with no hot water water and only one shower for 40 women. But you can do yours in Massachusetts (recommended!) You can sign up for your 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat near you HERE, or you can get your toes wet by listening to my voice recording of a ten-minute guided Vipassana-eque meditation on SoundCloud.
Q: What did the yogi tell his restless student?
A: Don't just do something - Sit there!
Oh man. You guys. The first time I tried meditating I got so worked up I felt like I was on fire. I had to leave the yoga room and dramatically cry and hyper-ventilate. After my lil’ episode, I knew I had some serious work to do. *Cue quarter-life-existential-crisis.*
Good news to you beginner meditators: It gets better!
Another shout-out to Vipassana—after I sat in stillness and silence for 10 days straight in India, I felt like a mother f*cking champion.
Now I feel *attached* to sitting in a *shot* stillness for a few minutes every day.
See because how we do anything is how we do everything. So if you learn to still the body, the mind will follow. And when you can still the mind…VOILA. You are now situated in the seat of the observer, and that’s when the real fun can begin. THAT’S when you can author your own life story, and spark your own joy (what’s her name) style!
Need help? I gotchyou. Fill out this form on my website to schedule a free 30-minute Life Story coaching consultation.
Q: What did the yogi say to the hot dog vendor?
A: Make me one with everything!
Don’t worry, I’m sure the yogi was talking to a VEGAN hot dog vendor with gluten-free buns available for an additional charge.
Guys, listen, we already ARE one with everything. We are space dust, and energy, and ions, and minerals, and air, and wind, and fire, and water, and…all of these elements and conditions and feelings and stories and “things” make up our own individual experiences. But the thing is, we all have them…at the same time…and here we are on this Earth…bumping into each other…all these lil’ human bundles of “oneness.” This idea of separateness is the illusion. And this is NOT just all the shrooms I took at Burning Man talking. In the same way that happiness is not found, but rather acknowledged, “oneness” is always available.
I refer to my fav Mooji quote:
“Where is peace until you find it?”