yoga to make you cry

Despite all the yada yada about western yoga and yoga in India, to me THIS is true yoga (“For Homeless, Serenity Arrives On a Yoga Mat.”)

“The permutations and sub-genres of yoga are easy to make fun of, for sure. There’s hot yoga, cold yoga, street yoga, hip-hop yoga, Broadway yoga, rock yoga, prenatal yoga, postpartum yoga, naked yoga and dog yoga (yes, yoga with your dog, the very beast that was doing “downward dog” long before yoga mats were invented). I totally admit to subjecting my children to baby yoga. Which was cute. And a bit silly.

But these are people who are hungry and tired. They might be mentally ill, and they are certainly downtrodden.”

Those of you who are regular readers know that I teach yoga and meditation at a domestic violence shelter. I teach for free and it’s my favorite class. Every month the group leader tells me “good class tonight…they were crying.”

So sorry if this offends anyone, but you can have all your fancy arm balances, all your sick inversions, all your core work for those yoga 6-pack abs, all your yoga trance dance, all your perfection of primary series, all your sweat that makes you believe you had a “good” practice, all your Lululemon pants and chakra jewelery, and keep it.

What does it all come down to? Yoga to turn myself or someone inside out and back again is where the rubber meets the road for me.

Use yoga to help someone turn to face their shadow self and make them cry. Use yoga to cook you. Show me how you live your life and who you serve.

addthis_pub = ‘yogagal60510’;

6 thoughts on “yoga to make you cry

  1. I would love to teach in a domestic violence shelter. And offer those so affected some peace, maybe. Or a glimmer of what else might be possible. I hope I can find a similar place to offer my services once I am qualified!


  2. This is great, and I'm glad that service-oriented yoga is finally getting some press. In all the crazy ways that yoga in the west is evolving, this ~ accessible, simple and sincere yoga for those in need of healing ~ is the best direction.

    I also teach a weekly free community class at a mission in my neighbourhood. My students aren't homeless or street-entrenched, but they are the working poor, they are unhealthy and have unhappy living situations. None of them could afford or would feel welcome going a “regular” yoga studio. But they experience a little peace and respite for an hour each week, I've watched them transform and grow over the past couple of years. They inspire me and remind me of the true potential of yoga in our lives.


  3. Wow, Linda. I knew it would be worthwhile to start reading through some of your past blogs, but this one really blew me away.

    I used to wonder about the relevance of Yoga to people with really serious problems. But this and other articles about Yoga in places you wouldn't expect it have answered that question pretty decisively.


    Bob Weisenberg


  4. No kidding. I met a girlie last Thursday at a play group (yes, with little kids). This gal is a wreck, absolutely tears for days. She came to a complimentary class of mine yesterday, and finally slept, first time in weeks.
    If I can make a difference, …………..


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