I just wrote, “I’m a Recovering Yoga-aholic” and now I want to erase it as fast as can, because, I absolutely love yoga and am so grateful to the practice. After all, consistently attending yoga classes for the last decade-and-change has given me a life I never thought possible, a life in which I feel much better at the age of forty-three than I did at twenty, a life were I feel consistently relaxed instead of consistently and miserably stressed. In addition, practicing yoga is one of the main things that has given me the confidence to become a successful and sought after professional speaker and perseverance coach. I deeply love my career
So why on earth would I say I’m a recovering yoga-aholic? Simply put, I used to be addicted to its healing and goodness.
Have you ever been addicted to something that has provided healing and added goodness to your life?
If you are anything like me, this seems like the type of silly question you’d typically disregard as nonsense and rapidly push out of your mind. Is there such a thing as too much goodness?
I used to reason that I wasn’t addicted to yoga because AFTER ALL when I was occupied doing yoga, I wasn’t busy worrying, fretting, obsessing and/or feeling bad about myself. All good things, right?
YES and painful as it is to admit….
I was STILL addicted to yoga.
I used to be so addicted to yoga because I thought I wasn’t complete unless I went to at least one or, better yet, TWO yoga classes every day.
When I was addicted to yoga, I was not giving myself the respect and independence to stand on my own two feet without yoga. Thus, attending yoga class became a crutch for me, a very flexible and deeply breathing crutch, but still a crutch.
Having yoga as a crutch for a time was important because I was experiencing so much change and healing in my life outside of yoga class, that I felt, metaphorically, unsteady on my own two feet.
Now that I feel steady, relating to yoga as a partner on a journey I deeply love, instead of a partner I’m reliant upon to know that I’m ok being me, is opening so many doors.
For example, one evening awhile back, I had planned to go to a yoga class. Yet my workday lasted longer than I expected, and I still needed to pack to go on a trip the next day. I decided without much angst to skip yoga and pack so I could go to bed at a more decent hour. This may not sound like much, but being OK skipping a yoga class to pack gives me a great amount of freedom. It’s the difference between having a nourishing relationship with my yoga practice and a relationship where I feel obligated to go to every possible class to feed my addiction.
In my experience, one of the main ways to know if you are addicted to something you love is asking yourself this question-
Can I comfortably go a short period of time, like a day or a week, without the thing I love or will going without the thing I love for a short time make me so uncomfortable as to make me miserable?
Keep in mind the question is not, “Will I miss the thing I love?”
Of course, you’ll most likely miss the thing you love because you love it.
But, will being without it throw your day off track and render you miserable?
If your answer is, “Yes, I can go without it,” that gives both you and the thing you love a fair degree of independence.
If your answer is, “Well, no, not really,” as mine was regarding yoga for so long, that’s something to look at.
Admittedly, this may not be the type of looking you want to do.
But if you want freedom for yourself and freedom for that which you love, this may well be an important conversation to have with yourself.
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.