Yoga Isn’t All F#*king Sunshine and Rainbows

Today’s guest post is a gift from Tami Hackbarth of Teacher Goes Back to School.  Tami and I first met through adoption– she’s also an adoptive mother- and have connected over teaching, motherhood, and our approaches to life.  She’s funny and thoughtful and warm-heated and real.  So refreshingly real.  Which is why I particularly love the post she has shared.  Because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it is all good.

image by Karen Gunton from

I feel it is my duty to clear up a common misconception about people who “do yoga.”

We (yoga peeps) are not somehow exempt from the negative feelings of everyday life.

We experience real feelings of  jealousy, rage, pettiness and my personal favorite – defensiveness.  Call it the dark side, the unpopular, the stuffed down deep – however you think of the “negative” feelings – we feel them too.

Over the last year as my yoga and non-yoga lives have come together and as more and more people think of me as someone who “does yoga” — I have been on the receiving end more than once of someone telling me that something I’ve said or done isn’t very “yogic.”

Say what?

Not very yogic?

What the f*ck does that mean?

Maybe I was mad and talked some sh*t about someone. Maybe I dropped an F-bomb (or 12), or maybe I bit someone’s head off after they said something stupid… (for example when someone pointed out what I just did or said was wasn’t very “yogic”).


Real life (and real yoga) is messy.

Both are full of challenges and frustrations. Sometimes resentment and anger and pettiness come up and bite you in the ass leaving you wondering where the hell that came from. On my mat (and off) I’ve experienced fear, pain and crying.

It’s not pretty. But it is what it is.

It’s all yoga, people.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Real yoga isn’t about sitting in lotus with your head in the clouds with a smile on your face all the time. Or about saving face and keeping it all even keeled.

I’m calling bullsh*t on that, people.

The true aim is to find self-acceptance in what is happening right now, in this moment. And being ok with it. Even if it is an unpleasant or unpopular feeling like jealousy or envy.

Knowing that both the good and the bad feelings will come and go and to let things be as they are. No judgment, just noticing.

That is what yoga really is, facing the unflattering parts of yourself and cutting yourself some slack. And maybe even finding some compassion and acceptance for the less popular parts of yourself.

Don’t let people (or yourself) try to stuff you into their limited view about what is “yogic” – remember whatever rises is what is real.

Does someone you know try to deny the unpretty parts of you? Do you do it to yourself?

Orginially posted on Teacher Goes Back to School September 10, 2010

Tami Hackbarth is a public school teacher on parental leave in Northern California. When she’s not running after her daughter, she teaches yoga to people who think it’s not for them. She is pursuing an advanced degree in resting, storytelling and social media. She can be found on Twitter and at her blog: Teacher Goes Back to School.

* More on that image and quote:  The image is from Karen Gunton of Build A Little Biz. The story behind it is fabulous.  You so need to go check it out.  And the quote itself is from Darren Criss.  And, boy, was it made for that picture.  Thanks, Karen, for sharing your art!

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5 responses to “Yoga Isn’t All F#*king Sunshine and Rainbows”

  1. Self Acceptance Through Yoga: aka Back Off Beeotch « Teacher Goes Back to School

    […] you’ll find me guest posting on Rosie Molinary’s blog. Please check it out and be sure to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by. Yes, it’s a reprint…one […]

  2. Homa

    So applicable in any field – why the pressure to seem any one way anyway? Especially since yoga is pretty individual. I mean, people do it together sometimes but their reasons are as unique as they are.

  3. Brittany

    Love this!! I have to remind myself of this when I go t yoga.

  4. Parvati Gebhardt

    Well stated and I totally agree…

  5. Mid-Week Balance: 14 March 2012

    […] Rosie Molinary often has things to say in her blog that I appreciate.  She finds interesting guests too, as this post from Tami Hackbarth demonstrates.  I appreciate Tami’s statement that a complete yoga practice is much more than “sunshine and rainbows.” […]

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