Modern Yoga Wisdom


If I were writing my own version of the
Yoga Sutra (a 2,000-year old guide for the practice of
yoga), I would include this bit of wisdom:

In your practice, some asanas will
elicit such panicky resistance from your body and/or spirit that
they’ll make you want to throw up. Do not despair, young yogi,
because this urge to throw up is teaching you many things.

First, it’ll teach you about your own
wonderful instincts. Sometimes the urge to throw up means, “This
one is not for you. It is not yet time to stand on your head while in full lotus.”
You’ll learn what this particular nausea feels like. This nausea
feels like a big red X.

The more common nausea feels like a big
red Uh Oh. It may be difficult at first to differentiate these, but
you will learn. The Uh Oh nausea means, “Whoa, Nellie, you have a
lot to learn from this pose. Come a wee bit closer. Perhaps this one has to do with the fact
that you hate confrontation, or you feel powerless in your life, or
you have unfortunately led your entire life with your pea brain
rather than your enormous heart.”

These urges to throw up and run away
screaming should be in the Sutra.

I used to feel the Uh Oh with Butterfly
Pose. It’s easing, now. I still feel it with all forward lunges.
With back bends, I’m not close enough to feel it, but I’ll bet
it’s coming.

When I hit one of these pukey edges, I
use a homemade mantra, which is, “I am completely safe.” (Not
that I have any underlying issues of my own, you understand.)

Have you met these urges to throw up?
If not, achhhh, you’re just more evolved than I am. Lucky for you.
You should write your own Yoga Sutra. We could use your wisdom.

If you have felt the big red X or the
Uh Oh, I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks to yoga for shining a light on
my resistance. Thanks to the spiky flower photographer. Thanks to you, always, for the conversation,


Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (About All
Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the
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