Yoga/Life Balance, or How to Quit Your Job

Today marks the 4-week checkpoint for yoga teacher training. My brain is spilling over with delicious new yoga knowledge, and my desire to begin teaching is gnawing at me. I think I must be putting those vibes out into the universe, because everywhere I look now, I see opportunity and growth. A friend from Denmark e-mailed me, asking about beginning a yoga practice. A girlfriend from college started coming to class with me to find some peace in her life during a particularly stressful time in law school. I was actually approached at a coffee shop by a man asking me if I taught private lessons (not sure if he was actually interested in yoga… but I’m going to go ahead and assume the best). That’s the thing about abundance: it’s abundant itself, and when you’re truly experiencing it, abundance spills over into every element of your life and makes everything blossom. So, I’m just contentedly riding this amazing wave, welcoming old friends back into my life and making some new ones along the way.

I, like so many weekend warrior yogis, am beholden to my desk job 8 hrs/day. The most difficult part of this is the part of the day where I have to float back down from my yogi cloud and re-enter the corporate world. Working 9-5 (8-5, if we’re all being honest with ourselves), it’s really hard to be inspired by spreadsheets and strategy meetings when you’d rather be doing handstands on the beach (…or drinking on the beach… or just on a damn beach in general).

Flower crowns are so passe. Kelp crowns are where it's at.
Flower crowns are so passe. Kelp crowns are where it’s at.

I can’t help but notice that SO MANY full-time yogis have this really similar narrative: “I was working some corporate soul-sucking job, then decided to leave behind the big paycheck in order to focus entirely on yoga”. My first instinct is always YAY GOOD FOR YOU, but honestly it scares me how much of a pull yoga has on people’s lives. Simply by completing teacher training, you’re 94.30582% more likely to quit your full-time job and turn to a full-time yoga practice*. As exhausting as this narrative gets when you have to listen to it in nearly every 30-something white chick’s bio, there’s something so compelling about that path.

This is me at work. Please love me.
This is me at work. Please love me.

(It’s worth noting that this whole thought process is dripping with privilege).

My question is, as someone who loves yoga but appreciates the rigor of my day-to-day (as much as I whine about it and say dumb things like “UGH, MONDAY amirite?!” to my colleagues), will the pull of a full-time yoga existence eventually be too great to resist? Who wouldn’t want to spend their whole day in sequences of joyful movement, in awareness and gratitude, in study and meditation? Right now, I’m happy to get a long walk around the building in during the workday, which is part of the reason why I’m so drawn to the steady and consistent daily asana practice. I feel guilt that I can’t walk away from a paycheck, that in some way I’m not truly “free” because of my attachment to a salary, to financial stability, to the acquisition of “things” and building a number in a bank account.

I do it for the cats and money
I do it for the cats and money

Anyways, I’m writing this at work so I’m going to cut it short. We’re doing Sanskrit class tonight in yoga teacher training, so obviously I’m PUMPED. I wish we could learn cuss words in Sanskrit, but I feel like the language is too beautiful to even have nasty language. If you know any curse words in Sanskrit, please let me know.

*I obviously made up this statistic, but I stand by it.

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