The Twitter and internet phenomenon of Shit my dad says, has spawned many imitations including Shit Yogi’s say. It has certainly hit a chord in the Yoga community, with more than 2,100,000 hits on You Tube in its brief history. What is it that makes it so watchable? Well, it’s not taking itself too seriously, it’s simple and it’s true.
I would hazard a guess that most of us practicing or teaching yoga have at one time or another spouted a line or two from the video in earnest and yet there is a cringe factor in watching the endless Om-ing and the mind-numbing drinking of some vile looking green concoction by the two yogis.
What is it about yoga that can turn a lot of us into carrot munching, kombucha drinking, Sanskrit chanting followers of this ancient traditional way of life?
In my case it was the complete 90 degree turn around of my life that made me look at every aspect of myself from the way I walked, to what I ate, to the way I began to express myself. Transformation was total and, in retrospect, it needed to be. I was becoming more and more dysfunctional in my relationships with those close to me and in how I viewed my life, which appeared to be on the road to self - destruction.
I was one of those people you hear about that become a convert after their first class. From that class all I can now recall is the relaxation at the end. The idea of relaxing seemed as foreign to me at the time as becoming a vegetarian or chanting in a foreign language but I soon realised that I needed to change and change I did.
When I realised that I needed to change, my first teacher was there: supportive, caring and an example of the person I would like to be; the first time I saw kombucha was at her house. As I began to practice more and more and develop a deeper awareness of myself, I did change from top to toe, everything from the clothes I wore to reading yoga texts. I began to adopt a yoga lifestyle or what in my imagination was a yogic lifestyle: I began to talk about chakras, use mala beads and became a namaste-ing, card carrying yogi, with all the blind enthusiasm of a religious zealot.
But you know what, amongst all the external facades of Yoga lay the simple fact that, by continuing to practice, I did change. At first I was caught up in all the outward appearances of Yoga; I’m still grateful for that. The real change came many, many years later, both gradually and with a resounding crash, the outer layers fell away to reveal a person who is now able to take responsibility for the changes that occur in life.
Yoga did change my life; I can’t imagine life now without yoga. Where did I learn the discrimination, the ability to view my life as my own and to be accountable for my own thoughts, words and actions? It came from the constant practice of yoga, reading yoga texts of all types, learning from my teachers and ultimately listening and believing in myself.