Sweat Shed

Nobody Ever Drowned In Sweat

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Why I Hate Yoga...

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If you love Yoga, do yourself a favour and stop reading now. If you're content with Ohm Shanti Shanti'ing your way into a heaven and learning to breathe through your ears and anus more power to you! You've been warned if you proceed you're only going to get worked up and your chakra is going to be fucked up for the whole day. Proceed at your own risk.


I've been 'doing' yoga or my version of a yoga type practise for probably around 5 years and this blog post title may seem extremely odd considering I teach Yoga.


I stretch and move around in a wide variety of ways each day, I feel so much healthier and better about my body's functionality for it. I need my clients and others to really consider including some variety in their movement practises, outside the realms of moving solely for metabolic exhaustion or getting your curls done. Consider working on your flexibilty/mobility, take your joints through some full range of movement, stretch all those '21st century living' tightened muscles that will bite you in the ass soon enough with an injury at some point, with your hamstrings so tight you have to sit down to put your socks on and pecs so tight you nearly rupture a disc trying to wipe your arse.


I'd say Yoga but I don't mean Yoga, I think I just mean stretching...


Yoga ; noun ; a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which including breath control, simple meditation...


YEAH I DEFINITELY DONT MEAN YOGA!


I started like most to try and help out a few chronic injuries I was dealing with. I was stiff and rigid and came to the conclusion I need me some Yoga! You see Yoga pretty much has the monopoly on the 'stretching industry', But the Yoga community would be the first to say, 'It's soooooo much more than stretching!!' Which is why I don't 'DO' Yoga, I 'DO' stretching.Stretching is simple, you just need you, some space and the will to get a little bendier! That's it!


But when I talk about stretching, everybody switches off. Stretching isn't sexy or exotic!  "I've just been Stretching," doesn't sound as good over a skinny-venti-soya-mocha-chino. Nobody sold £100 stretching pants! Or Instagrammed themselves on a Mauritius beach doing a calf stretch!


This is starting to touch on why I love stretching but I HATE YOGA!

Firstly I hate the Yoga snobs! Believe me more of you are guilty of it than you think! "What kind of Yoga do you do? I'm so like into the spiritual side of Yoga I feel I truly know my purpose and lifes calling after each time I practise" .....Fuuuuuck Offfff!! You forget it all the second you walk out the studio and pick up the latest Glamour magazine and plonk your arse down in front of Love Island. Very Fucking SPIRITUAL!! Go run your SELFRIDGES card up!!

I hated that first feeling of walking into a class feeling out of place sitting in silence worried if I coughed too loudly I'd interrupt somebodies path to enlightenment and they'd have to start again. It felt a little bit too much like walking into a church for me. I'm not religious in the slightest and to start with there are just too many links and passed down rituals and that kind of thing for me to be fully down with most Yoga and Yoga studios. Om is a sacred sound and spiritual icon in Dharmic religions, so why would I be humming it because somebody told me to? If I believed in it then fine, but because it creates a more authentic feel in a 'fitness class' no thanks!

That's another thing I hate the false Authenticity! Because you have chanting and the 1920's Indian Top 40 playlist does that mean my stretching will be that much more effective!?I hate the Sanskrit, It's a dead language! You speak English! I speak English! I tell you what... Why don't you teach me in Fucking English! I struggle enough with English! Don't confuse the matter!! Tell me where you want my hands and feet to be!! As I don't know what PASCHIMOTTANASANA is!! And it doesn't impress me that you do!! It's a forward bend you prick!


I hate that Yoga is seen as feminine and that a bloke going to class must obviously be an attempt to get a date, because blokes just don't 'Do' Yoga! I hate that it's seen as an old persons exercise, it's what mum does when Body Attack classes get too much for her!


I hate that it's full of spiritual-realigning-self-discovery mumbo jumbo! Every pretentious Yoga Class attendee is just as unhinged as the rest of us and no amount of Ohmmmmmming is gonna change that my dear! What you are feeling is a high from exercising and giving your body some nutrition through movement! Not your spirit being cleansed!!


I hate the classist element of Yoga! The studio's are always in the posh areas! And don't get me started on the price of some sessions! Because of this it's much more likely to find your middle-class-cheshire-ladies-that-lunch type dressed in their Lululemon matching outfit than it is to find a balding-tattooed-Stockport-lad dressed from head to toe in Primark.


I can't argue with the health benefits that some Yoga poses have done for my own body. When people ask for advice I say I do Yoga. A little bit of me dies inside when I say this, but I say it because it gives them a reference point of roughly what I'm talking about! I don't chant! or bow! or follow any scripts or sequences! I don't have a guru! I don't 'do' Yoga! but for simplicities sake it's just easier to say, 'yeah I do Yoga!'


Humans have packaged it up like they do everything else into a commodity that they can sell back to you! Here you have human movement being branded up and peddaled to us! Cats don't do Yoga, they stretch and move through their day in a variety of ways making use of what abilities they have. Humans have fucked ourselves up so much and lost touch with our own humanity and what it means to be a human we now need people to show us how to use our own bodies! We need to learn to reclaim the use of what we have before we lose the abilities for ever!


There does seem to be a shift occuring in small pockets of the industry. Clearing out of the crap and the unnecessary. Updating things for a more modern day individual that just wants to move some more! I'd like to include Sweat Shed here as well, who via our Hip Hop Yoga classes are trying to offer a more modern approach to practising some form of Yoga.


This post was just to say don't let all the wanky aspects of Yoga and similar activities put you off trying something that really will improve your quality of life. Stick with it! Try to find a class, an instructor an infomation source that sits well with you and get practising your stretches!!You don't have to call it Yoga! You don't have to call it anything! That problem is for people like me and other fitness professionals that need to keep battling with terms to describe to others exactly what services they provide.


Mr Ashtanga-Vinyasa or Mrs Acro-Flow-Jiva-Yinfabulous this isn't to discredit or bash your interests. You crack on! If you're Happy then I'm Happy! This post is for Dave or Sarah sat at their desks at work who just want to move a bit more in some new ways but feel a bit like a dick at the back of one of these traditional classes full of waif women pretzelling the shit out of themselves. Take it from me it doesn't have to be this way, and you'll be glad you persevered and found something to help you!


There are books and YouTube clips and Websites with loads of great info aimed at and written by people not seeking contortionist level flexibility, not trying to recruit you into their cult or flog you into their lifestyle brand that just want you to move better, feel healthier and be a little less sucky at being human.If you want any advice from me, for what that may be worth, a qualified Yoga teacher who hates Yoga drop me a message and I'll help where I can. Or if you are more local to the gym come and try one of our Hip Hop Yoga classes. You might find 'Yoga' isn't actually that bad.

HUMBLE

I'm not quite sure where this post is going to go so I'll apologise in advance. I've not wrote a blog post in absolute ages... so I may blend a whole array of topics that have been whirling around my head into one, no doubt lengthy, ramble...! I see so much content online from PT's and what not, I just started to feel like who wants to hear what I have to say when there's literally thousands out there already filling social media feeds. So I guess I'm writing this to clear out my own head ready to get back to some more consistent blogging and if a couple of people stop by to take peek then that's awesome, I hope you can take something from it and if not, pop back in a few weeks when I've remembered how to write engaging blog posts... (because that's what bullshit marketers tell us we should be writing!)  


I've been listening to Kendrick's new track so that's where the title came from... I've kind of felt an affinity to the word HUMBLE recently while I've been going through some injury problems so it felt like a good fit... So lets see where we end up... I hope you can stick with me and make it to the end. 


"Humble yourselves in the sight of the lord, and he shall raise you up."(James 4:10)


Don't worry I'm not going all religious on you but I do love a good quote from the good book from time to time...


There's nothing like a bout of illness or injury to help you reflect on a time when you were well, when you were healthy and you were feeling good.
These are usually times when being humble is the last thing on your mind. I know there's times for sure when I've walked around thinking I'm all big and bad and I'm not practicing being humble in the slightest. 
Like I'm invincible. 
Like nothing can bring me down, like the world revolves around me.
They say pride comes before a fall and boy did they hit the nail on the head.
I wont lie and pretend I wish I wouldn't of suffered the injury in the first place but the silver lining is as a result of it I feel I've learnt some stuff I otherwise might not have.

I came across this very catchy phrase that sums it up perfectly for me,


"BE HUMBLE OR BE HUMBLED"


Don't dwell too long on your former glories. Your time, your talents, your money, your power, your status, your possessions... it's all disposable. Acknowledging an achievement isn't the same as boasting about it. Remember the bigger you are, the harder you'll fall.


One minute you're showing off to the world doing one arm chin ups and the next you're struggling to put your own socks on. I consider my ass well and truly Humbled!


We should all be cautious of drifting into a life of arrogance, pretentiousness and selfishness. Instead we should aim to practice modesty, being humble and serving others. There's a million and one quotes along the lines of 'helping others achieve their dreams and we to will achieve our own' and they're right, no one has ever become poor by giving. 


I feel due to the amount of time we spend in a virtual world these days and how the media we consume is created and delivered to us, we are all unknowing victims of being dragged in to this way of life. We really need to concentrate our efforts on injecting life and love in to the world through the decisions and actions we take and not just simply be one more individual sucking attention from society and taking up space. I know that I post a lot less online these days just because I feel I only want to post things that I really want others to see. I suppose it doesn't make much of a difference though as the social media world has so much content these days its like taking a piss in the sea, nobody notices anyway. 


The fitness world is very similar to the real world in many ways. It's a competitive place where the strong, the beautiful, the loud and the big thrive.


Gyms compete on square footage, number of clients / members, fancy apparel lines new class / workout names and supplement sponsors.


Personal Trainers compete on 1 rep max Instagram clips, the best well lit topless changing room "progress" photo's and the fanciest staged evening meal photo (All of which I know I have contributed well over my fair share of to the world) in an attempt to lure new clients to come try their workouts or simply to receive some quick acclaim from their peers. And we all play the game because that's how we see others do it, we feel that's just how it's done. 


I was aware of this cycle of events before because as a result of my profession I was a part of it. I've never taken as much time away from my usual life I as I have recently and I've been able to look at it through different eyes. It's not a very nice view. Arrogance, Pretentiousness, False Advertising and Flat Out Bull Shit as far as the eye can see. Where "likes" and applause and actions for others approval makes the world turn. I know how ironic this sounds coming from me. In my time I've been more guilty than most. And for that I want to apologise. I don't want to contribute to it any longer.


Despite my absolute adoration of the gym and exercising and training, it's an industry I've slowly learnt to despise over time. I'm working hard to overcome the conflict of interests I seem to be having in my head about working in the fitness world, where modesty and being humble isn't rewarded and being a c*nt and a bit of a prick is! and I hope once my injury finally heals I can find my place to deliver something positive to the world.


What I can physically contribute to the industry is somewhat limited at the moment, but I'm going to start where I can, by looking at how I contribute to the industry both online and offline and hopefully act in a much more humble manner now I feel I've escaped the clutches of the dark side of the Fitness Industry, (largely in part by some of the realisations made by the help of this chronic injury).


What does this mean? Well for me practicing being humble means using my tiny little portal on social media to add value to the world instead of another topless PT photo. (Besides I'm 35 this year I should be leaving that to the Johnny Bravo looking young 'uns.) 


So keep your eyes peeled for much more useful content coming your way though my social media streams. I plan on updating you with lots of workout ideas, exercise technique tips, recipes I may have tried and then we may even get in to some other cool stuff like local business reviews and workout playlists and just all around useful shizzle!! 


Yahoo!! you made it!!


Ok in summary what have we learnt here... Basically I could have saved you 15 minutes and just typed...


BE HUMBLE AND DON'T BE A C*NT.