Yoga and Scapegoats: An ‘Aha’ Moment

I had one of those yoga classes today that I just HATED.

Halfway through the class, I was just wishing evil on the teacher. I was so mad at her for ‘lying’, I was so mad at the class for not matching its description – my muscles were screaming, I was hot and I needed a scapegoat.

Around the halfway point, I had a little ‘aha’ moment.

I wasn’t mad at the teacher. I didn’t hate the class. All the teacher was doing was offering poses if you wanted to push yourself and further your practice.

I was the only one making myself do anything. If my muscles were screaming, I could just back off. It was pure ego that was preventing me from backing away.

So I backed off, and took it a bit easier on myself, and all of a sudden my whole perspective shifted.

The rest of the class I spent processing this revelation. Realizing that this is why I love yoga: it almost always can serve as a microcosm of life itself. A reflection of how you handle situations.

So many of us reach for a scapegoat the second something goes wrong. Someone to blame.

Sometimes there is no one to blame. Sometimes there is only ourselves to blame.

By the end of the class, I loved the teacher, and I can’t wait to go back.

Go figure.


  1. An excellent yoga class, and an excellent student. Life is good!

  2. What an interesting perspective! Good for you and I am glad you ended up happy!

  3. A rare and beautiful realization! Kudos. It’s a life-changer.

  4. Love this post. I do that all the time. Not only in yoga but any other fitness classes too. In my head I’m being annoyed with the teacher or classmates, when really they are not doing anything wrong! But by the end of class I’m mentally in a better place. Exercise is a form of release, not just for pounds, but also all the stress in our lives! When I go through a couple days without a workout I find myself being grumpy, lethargic, lazy, etc. It’s amazing how important it is to our everyday lives!

  5. great post, anna. i still have yet to try yoga – but this post makes me super curious to try it given your important revelation! sometimes you just have to take it easy, no?

  6. Karey at Nutty About Health says:

    Don’t you just love self-revelations & those kind of moments? I admit, those are somewhat rare for me… I am very hard on myself… many times, too hard. Why? I’m not really sure, but I think that’s something I need to work on, especially when it comes to school. Thanks for bringing that to light! 🙂

  7. I know exactly what you mean and weirdly enough I did it this morning. I spent a good ten minutes really trying to push myself and getting frustrated when I fell over and kept losing my balance. I backed off a little and was able to get into the poses much better when I was calmer and had lower expectations. Funny how these things work out!

  8. Oh I so know what you are talking about! People on the streets often are my scapegoats without even doing anything. At that point I know I need a meditation or a Yoga practice to get back to balance! It’s so good to change prospects once in a while!

  9. I find myself thinking this often on the road. If I’m late somewhere, it’s because someone was a slow driver or there was a lot of traffic. I really love that you shared this and your new perspective! This will be a wonderful new way to think during all the holidays! Thank you for sharing and reminding us that we have the power to choose how we think and feel!

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