be the beginner, sure. just not this type

often when yoga newcomers (usually guys, just saying) attend upper-level classes, they leap into the most difficult form of each posture. 

twisting sideways on one foot while holding their hands behind their back, they come within millimeters of snapping their hamstrings.  or they jump backward on hands and feet, but land with straight arms.

why do they behave like this?  because others are doing it, or that version sounded fanciest, or since they lift of course they can pull it off.  but they’re hurting themselves and acting like they’re replaceable. 

instead of acceptance and self-respect there is egotism and pride.  it makes me want to whisper, “we aren’t impressed.  nor are we driving you to the ER after class.”

the irony about outdoing people in yoga is its futility.  you’ll never win.  it’s an endless practice.   if your heels touch the floor in down dog, guess what?  slide them farther back. 

and when you’re seated and reaching for your feet?  it’s never about getting your head to your knees.  it’s about getting your heart past your feet.  so that should keep you busy for a while.  

pointing fingers at these poor, sore folks is easy enough, but what if their behavior held a useful message?  what if you viewed life obligations as yoga postures?  for example, does running to CVS in a panic to buy more toothpaste look like sitting cross-legged on the floor, or balancing on your head and left pinky finger?  and does setting up a recurring Amazon delivery seem easier?

the goal is not to progress to being able to do everything but to literally re-view areas of your life and ask, where i’m treating myself like the new guy in yoga? and of course,  what am i going to do about it?