I sat on my yoga mat, crossed legged, eyes closed. The vibration of “om” flowed from my slackened lips. The sound of my neighbors inhales and exhales danced around my eardrums. Here I was; I had my blocks, my comfy yoga pants and a bunch of tension ready to be released. I wanted to feel exuberant. I craved becoming enlightened. I anticipated connecting in harmony with the universe.
Of course, I felt a twinge of pride in holding a tree pose for an extended period. There was a quiver in my muscles after 20 chaturangas. There was a little bit of pain from, as my chiropractor now says, overstretching my back. But I also felt, and it has taken me months to come forward to admit this horror, this taboo topic, this atrocity only suitable for conversations in hushed whispers:
I felt complete boredom.
How could this be happening to me? I yearned to be like every other flip-flop wearing, milky skinned, foot behind the ear, kombucha drinking yogi. I’m a vegetarian for goodness sake. Yoga should be in my blood. Yet the more I practiced, the more distracted and confused I became. All the up and downs of going from downward dog, to upward dog, to warrior one and triangle pose, just gave me horrible head rushes and dizziness. And I never felt the natural high I usually felt after a workout. I just felt blah. What was I missing?
I’ve had long conversations with those who’ve had their lives transformed by yoga. They’ve told me how their practice not only changed their attitude and perspective, it instilled them with a sense of calm that they carried through their day. But the more I practiced, the more disgruntled I became.
I looked to the universe for help. Please tell me what I am missing. And there were silence. And not the good zen epiphany kind of silence. Just the murky drab silence you experience, when you’ve just gotten back from a date, and your mother tells you that you have something green stuck in your teeth.
So what did I do then? What any self respecting failure-of-a-yogi would do. I rolled up my yoga mat, threw off my cute little grip socks, and went on to my computer to find an alternate journey. And a few weeks later I was in a silks class, (like what they do in Cirque de Soleil), having the time of my life.
Something about pulling my normally uncoordinated body into athletically pretty pictures made me feel surprisingly calm and zen. And when I walked out of class, I felt tired and blissful.
The moral is that there isn’t just one path to enlightenment. So to all you bored yogis suffering in silence like I did, know there is hope. I can finally admit that while yoga transforms some people’s lives, it wasn’t for me. We all find our place of zen in our own way. But you’ll never find it if you stay stuck hoping one more sun salutation is all you need to make yourself whole.
So, I leave you with this. Go out there and find the path to enlightenment that was meant for you. Don’t let someone else define your bliss. Namaste.