Two people practicing yoga

Why We Seem to like Only One Type of Yoga Class

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Recently, I have been pondering this theme as it has come to my attention through some feedback and in my own practice.  Perhaps the type of practice that we most need is the type that we tend to shy away from. This is not some large epiphany, but it is interesting enough to spend some time reflecting.
Of course, I am not saying don’t do the type of yoga you love because sometimes we just want what we want. We just want to feel wrung out or relaxed, but if we approach the mat, and our practice with this idea that I only like “power” yoga, or I only like “yin” yoga, or even “I only like this one teacher,” then we are already caught in the patterns of our mind and our preferences, which are the causes of our suffering. We are defining and limiting the practice of yoga by placing it into these basketsRestorative Yoga Hot_Power_-_YogaVenue_600x400.
The cycle of raga (attachments) and dvesha (aversions) is generally how we experience our lives. It can be as simple as: “I like to do the things that I like.” and “I hate to do the things I don’t, so I don’t do them.” In theory this is fine, as long as we are awake to the fact that this cycle is taking place and we are being controlled by it. But generally once we are awake to the pattern of our attachments and our aversions we can begin to override the patterns if we choose to do so.
If we always practice Power yoga looking to be stimulated from the outside and be given a workout and then we have an experience that doesn’t live up to our expectation of how the class is supposed to entertain us, we often leave feeling disappointed. “I was not stimulated in the right way”. “I didn’t get my workout”.  My “wants” were not met, my desires for my practice. The same can be true of those of us who only practice Yin or more Restorative styles of yoga. Always looking for the yoga to sooth us to calm us down. We will ultimately leave feeling disappointed if the offering misses the mark. And we often then blame the teacher for this failure to meet our internal expectation of what the practice is meant to give us.
The reality is, is that no one can meet your expectations. So what happens if we allow the offering of the practice to be what it is and we open ourselves up to what is unfolding moment to moment? Even if we don’t love it or even if we do? Realizing that these experiences are transient.
By allowing ourselves to be controlled by our attachments and aversions and projecting the failure outwardly we are missing the point a bit. The practice of yoga is truly working when our boundaries are being tested, when we are moved outside of our comfort zones – outside of raga and dvesha.
So maybe take a class that you wouldn’t normally take. The possibilities are endless if we open ourselves up to them.