What's Wrong with Yoga, by Michael Korman

What’s Wrong With Yoga

Yoga classes are one-size-fits-all

It makes no sense. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone’s mind is different.

Your body is subject to the laws of mechanics. An object in motion stays in motion, and all that. A teacher can’t just say “move your arm this way” and expect that you aren’t going to pay a price for that, if your arm is already moving in the other direction.

The teacher tells you to “inhale” and “exhale”, but the teacher obviously isn’t inhaling while saying “inhale”.

Come on, is this supposed to be a joke???

Of course, no one in the class is inhaling and exhaling exactly simultaneously. This isn’t a synchronized gymnastics team.

So, they’re not following the teacher’s instructions. But, the teacher gives them anyway.

What’s going on here???

The students in the class aren’t paying attention to their own experience. Their eyes are scanning the room, looking at the other students. To make sure they’re not falling behind. To make sure they’re not the only ones who suck at it.

They look at the teacher, to make sure they are doing the pose correctly. Of course, they’re not doing it correctly. You can’t be doing it correctly while staring at the teacher. Not possible.

Yoga teachers care about themselves, not the students

The teacher corrects the students after every mistake. They go up to the student, put their hands on the student, and manipulate the student’s body in some weird way.

This isn’t based on what the student needs. It’s based on what the teacher needs.

The teacher needs to feel competent, in control. Safe from criticism.

“It’s OK if students get injured, but not during my class!”

So, the teacher prevents the student from doing yoga, simply so that the teacher doesn’t have to worry about lawsuits or professional criticism. Yay.

This is how people get injured, by the way. Injuries happen when people stop paying attention to their own bodies. Why would a yoga teacher encourage this?

So that it doesn’t happen during the class.

“Injure yourself all you want on your own time. But here, I’ll make sure your knee never goes past your toes, because I read in a book and heard on a YouTube video and heard third-hand from my yoga teacher friends that THIS is how I will stay protected from lawsuits.”

Hey, teacher: go back to kindergarten. No one likes you. Yeah, you. You’re a failure of a human being. Start over and try again.

And to you, the reader who is offended by this, get out of my life. I have work to do.

If, however, you’re feeling validated by this, keep reading. I’m writing this to you, not those other idiots.

You can’t learn yoga from a class. It’s the worst way to do it.

You can’t learn from a book or a video, either. But, they’re better than classes.

You learn by doing it and by experimenting and figuring it out. You do this on your own. Teachers are fine, but teachers won’t teach you anything.

(Goddammit I know some of you reading this are yoga teachers or devoted students of yoga teachers and your head is about to explode right now.


How to learn yoga

You can start by moving your body. Whichever way it wants to move. Pay attention to gravity and inertia and how things are already moving. Try to get out of the way.

You can allow yourself to breathe. Notice how the inhale affects the movement of your body. Notice how the exhale affects the movement of your body.

Keep your attention on the breath, at all times.

Try to move in uncomfortable directions, and see what that does to your breathing. See if you can remain focused on the breath, even while exerting yourself.

Try to balance on one leg. Notice what that does to your breathing. Notice how your fear of falling affects things. Notice how you stop yourself from falling. Notice how the body moves on its own to stop you from falling. Notice how moving your arms affects your balance.

Notice how moving one part of the body affects all the other parts. See if you can feel it everywhere. Move your finger the slightest possible amount, and see what it does to your breathing. See what it does to your balance.

Alternate between moving and staying still. Move in and out of uncomfortable positions. Notice what that does to your breathing. Notice what your breathing does to that.

Don’t let yourself stop moving. Notice how you’re always falling. Always.

Freeze in uncomfortable positions. Freeze in comfortable positions. Notice how you’re never frozen, because you’re always breathing.

Focus on one joint at a time. Notice how that affects your breathing. Notice how it affects your focus on your breath. Feel the subtlest possible movements in that joint. If it feels like it doesn’t want to move a certain way, find EXACTLY where the point is where it wants to stop. This will do weird things to your mind, by the way. Be prepared. Or not.

Move quickly, without regard to subtlety. Feel how easy it is to move the entire body as a whole, with power. Synchronize it to music. Synchronize it with your breathing.

Yoga teachers suck

I’ve never seen any of this stuff taught in a yoga class. Therefore, I have to assume yoga teachers have no idea what they’re doing.

This is the real yoga. The one you should do. It’s why yoga was invented.

The other yogas are useless to me.

If you find this helpful, try it and let me know what happens.

If you don’t find it helpful, good for you. Please don’t distract me with your daddy issues.

My version of yoga

If you want to try yoga the Korman way, check out KormanYoga.


2 responses to “What’s Wrong With Yoga”

  1. […] now, just know that there’s someone else out there who sees yoga the way you do: a way to integrate the mind and the body. Nothing […]

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