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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Just Use the Supports

Hello, friends! I'm trying to post at least once a month, and I'm in just under the wire!

--

Over my years of practicing yoga, I've become very fond of using my props.

There's some stigma across yoga communities

that using props is a sign of some kind of weakness;
that you aren't a true yogi 
unless you can bend your body into the right shapes on your own.

I laugh that most of our long-held traditions

originally came from a bunch of privileged dudes
who liked to hear themselves sound special.

So I'm pretty skeptical of anyone who tries to tell me

that those answers still hold true
in this culture
in this time
with our current people.

Our props are not supposed to be judgments.

Our props move the world around us and bring the poses to us
exactly where we are.

All so we can put our focus and energy in the right parts of our practice.

Finding openness.
Creating room to breathe.

So often, we just push and tug

and wind ourselves into painful, awkward versions of our poses
because we refuse to accept the supports.

We refuse to accept that we need the help.


--

Today in my yoga practice,
while deciding if I should use a prop in one of my poses,

my mind wandered to thoughts of this
self-imposed, unnecessary effort.

The effort we expend in our lives 
when we refuse the most productive path to our progress,
because we're afraid to ask for help.

Or we're afraid of being honest,
both with ourselves and with our loved ones.

So we struggle, and we suffer.
For no good reason.

Because we ALSO seem to be hanging onto traditions

that tell us that we're supposed to suffer for things we care about.

That if we are truly committed, 
we shouldn't give up when things get difficult.

We stigmatize mental illness and brush off therapy.

We feel bad just taking a day off to reset ourselves.

We think that doing something loving for ourselves is selfish.


--

I admit, I have a lot of de-programming to do.

You don't get to wake up one day magically cured of your baggage.

It's a process.
One that sure takes longer than we want it to.

Until then, though,

we have our supports.

We have the people and things in our lives 
that will help move the world for us and with us.

If only we would use them.


-C McG

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