Why do I do yoga?
I was at the bar a few nights ago, and I ended up going to an after party with a few friends and a couple girls we had met that night. We got back and were listening to some music, dancing, and talking, and one of the girls asked me what I like to do. We had already done a lot of talking that night, so she knew all about my yoga stuff. I had even pulled off a scorpion pose in the patio area of the bar. (It was not very crowded.) I told her that I liked doing yoga, meeting new people, dancing, and doing all the social media for my job. She was unconvinced. “Yeah, but what do you really like to do?” she pressed.
At first I was offended, but after I thought about it, I realized that she was asking me to pull back the layers of the onion and explain why I really like doing yoga. I thought about it. There are many reasons that I do yoga, many of them not as “noble” as the others. I do yoga for practical purposes, so that I can stay in shape and reduce my risk of injury. I do yoga for fun and stress relief. I do yoga as a social activity. I do yoga so that I look good and feel good. I do yoga to show off sometimes too. I have put thousands of hours into my physical fitness, and I enjoy displaying what I have accomplished, whether that is aesthetics, mastery of a certain pose technique, or athletic skills.
Most of all, though, I do yoga because it is a source of intrinsic motivation for me. There is always something to improve. There is always a pose that I can improve on. The challenge inspires me. Finding something that motivates you internally is extremely difficult. Almost everything else I do is framed in terms of a competition or measured against a certain standard. Yoga and physical fitness is one thing that I do not measure myself against others, because nobody else has my body, my experiences, my strengths, my weaknesses, and my aspirations. Most importantly for my career and the future of Man Flow Yoga, my intrinsically inspired motivation helps to motivate others. Inspiration; to get more people to do yoga so that they can feel as good as yoga has made me feel – that is the ultimate goal of Man Flow Yoga, and my favorite and most fulfilling activity.
That is why I have Friday photos of the week. That is why the Man Flow Yoga logo is not just a picture of myself. Yes, I am the face of Man Flow Yoga, but I want people to go out and say for themselves, “I do Man Flow Yoga.” Then those people can explain to you that they do it for some of the same reasons that I do. They want to look good. They want to have a higher level of physical fitness. They want to be able to play with their children and grand children. They want to continue to play sports and be active, and maybe every now and then bust out a scorpion pose at the bar. There is nothing wrong with having an ego and being proud of what you have accomplished.
I am writing this to let you know why I do yoga, and hopefully to help reassure you that if you are feeling the same way that I am, that it’s okay. One of the biggest reasons that I enjoy yoga is that, for me, it always suggested that yoga was whatever you want it to be. Make it work for you, and don’t let other people tell you what it is or what it isn’t for – even me.