“We all want to be special and stand out; there’s nothing wrong with this. The irony is that every human being is special to start with, because we’re unique to start with. But then we go through some sort of boot camp from the age of zero to about 18 where we learn everything we can about how to not be unique.” ~Karl Marlantes
Over the weekend, I attended a workshop with Christina Sell. It was amazing! She is an amazing teacher, an amazing yogini and amazing person! I learned so much by the end of the day, and I am excited to bring it back to my students.
As I sit this morning contemplating how to bring her teachings back in a way that is authentically from me, irony came to mind. Ironically, the things I have been working on (kettlebell strength and pistol squats) that fall outside the realm of yoga, were the things she focused on during the workshop. Life is strange, is it not?
I have spent a bit of time this morning, as well, trying to figure out a way to bring the idea of irony in a positive way, to my classes this week. As I researched, I am surprised that many people view irony through a negative lens, almost as if questioning, cynicism and dry humor are to be discarded and replaced with “positivity.”
I believe in the power of being positive and categorize myself as a optimist. However, I enjoy using the power of sarcasm and irony to illustrate and lighten up the difficult parts of life. Sarcasm and irony are my ways of positively spinning the parts I find irritating, aggravating, annoying, or downright wrong. Humor in all its forms is a way to shed light in an otherwise dark place.
I noticed that Christina also used irony and sarcasm during her teachings. I immediately related to her. Through her use of humor, she lightened up an otherwise very focused and serious group of individuals. Yoga has the potential to make us all too serious, too focused, too much. We begin to overthink and over-focus on getting into the “right” alignment, the perfect shape, the higher lift, the longer hold.
We sometimes forget that yoga is about exploration of life in all of it’s glory, difficulties, challenges, and successes. We forget that yoga is designed to bring us into wholeness with ourselves and allows us to release the things that can hold us back from realizing our true selves in all of our beauty and imperfections. Through imperfection and acceptance of our imperfections, we find that we are already perfect!
As you go about your week, look for the irony in your everyday life and learn to see it as a way to lighten up the parts that are negative and beyond your control. With new eyes, begin to let go of your ideals of perfection (self or otherwise) and embrace the imperfect through the lens of irony. Laugh at yourself and this crazy life, and realize that without the negative, there is no positive.