It’s Not About Touching Your Toes

Hi All.

So this is my first yoga post. As per my bio (have a read if boredom levels are high), I have just finished the 200 hour Yoga teacher training (YTT) at Semperviva Yoga.

Many people I spoke to when I told them I was taking YTT asked me if I could touch my toes. Irrelevant, I think. What does it matter?

What is yoga about then? I’m not qualified to answer that. At least, not yet anyway. I can give an opinion or have a shot at it I suppose, but I would prefer to answer a slightly different question.

What is Yoga about to me?

Ok, now that’s a good question. At the risk of overstating myself, it is certainly not about touching my toes, or feet behind heads, or flexibility. The afore mentioned are certainly effects of practice but are they destinations?

The destination is not what it’s about. The pose is not what it’s about. For me, it is about the journey to the pose. Or, the journey to Shavasana, or the journey from the mat back to real life. It is about the people you meet along that journey, the places you visit (physically, mentally and metaphorically). It’s about how you arrive there. How you travel. Do you travel with the breath as a companion? Do you travel mindfully and tread carefully? Are you well intentioned? Are you judging? Is the ego involved? Are you getting into that pose for yourself, for the ego, or to prove that your better than the dude beside you with his top off who looks like he has done 27 hours in the gym with Arnold Schwarzenegger?

That’s me I’m talking about. I am the one who looks around. I am the one who fidgets. I’m the one who judges. I judge from all sides. I judge myself when I can’t make a posture; I judge others (I don’t want to go into it because my brain is such an a – hole sometimes – maybe in another post). Anyway I judge constantly. That Judgmental person we all don’t want to be, is me. And I intend to teach people yoga. Wow.

The one good thing I can say is that I realize it. I notice it more and more. I begin to catch myself. I begin to see the one who points the finger and thinks this and that about everybody. What can I do about it? Those are my thoughts. I can’t control my thoughts?

Ah but I can. We all can to an extent. A thought arises .This is an occurrence which, indeed, I believe I have no control over, at least not yet and not without years of practice. What I can control, however, is what I do with those thoughts. I can choose to act on them or not act on them. I can chose to voice them in my mind and put words to them or I can just let them drift away. They are not me.

That is my journey. That is what it is about for me, as a student of yoga. A journey, without judgment. And maybe it is about something else for you. I encourage you to ask yourself, what is it about? For you specifically. And maybe it is about touching your toes but I think that deep down there is more. I think that if you look deeper you will find more. And if you don’t, keep looking. It’s ok not to know. And to be honest, after writing this, I’m not even sure that I know.

Thanks for reading.



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Comments (3)

  • Tiffany Renee Harmon 4 years ago Reply

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 And congrats on completing the YTT!

  • Laurel 4 years ago Reply

    Love this George. The honesty and authenticity. And the fact that I didn’t read this but heard you speaking it to me.

  • […] was the first thing that came to mind. I have written about this before in my blog called It’s Not About Touching Your Toes. I have also been practicing one yama or niyama every day. On this day I was trying to be mindful […]

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