What Are You? A Yogi, Gymnast, Acrobatic Player, or Attention-seeking Performer?


This is, believe me, not a post out of hatred or envy. But it is more of self criticism. That said, I will proceed.

My yoga practice was kind of boring. I got myself a book at the nearby bookstore and watched the how-to videos both on YouTube or any other web sources. But still, it bored me. No wonder, I was practicing on my own in the bed room.

That was like two years ago and now I have got this yoga community at Taman Suropati Jakarta. We practice on a weekly basis with the assistance of professionals. A lot of the instructors are experienced trainers and yoga gurus in town. So I know I am in the right hand. Simply let myself follow the instructions and things are going to be fine. It is very much different from my amateurish practice at home. I needed guidance because reading  (regardless how strong your brain can fantasize what a book tells) is not enough. I wanted  human being to tell me what to do, what to fix if any, or what to improve. And of course, what to be proud of. Getting to know what I am best and worst at. That is to me part of knowing myself, though in a superficial physical sense.

Then along came social media madness. Facebook, Twitter seem the best channels to find friends to practice  yoga with. I uploaded perhaps tons of profile pictures, avatars and others on my wall and timeline. I wanted for people to know I practice yoga and to find more pals with interest in yoga stuff on the web. I just wanted to learn more from others and , being candid and a hypocrites hater, yes I also feel the thirst of others’ acknowledgment. You know those gosh-you-are-damn-bendy remarks. Suddenly to receive such comments is addictive. It is like you did your toil, sweated like hell and someone came and said you did a great job. You and I and everyone can feel that, can’t you?

And then my Instagram account was set up. The addiction has been taking a new better place. I saw more and more yogis and yoginis there. They follow and comment on my photos and vice versa. I find it increasingly fun. Everyone seems to be really supportive. I can find no harsh critic or abrasive words. That is the heaven for aspiring yogis to keep up their current practice. I also sometimes bump into new poses, which are absolutely wonderful to try to avoid boredom and monotony.

Now after all these things, I have this very question for myself: “What am I?” Am I a yogi already? Just because I can perform poses my guru cannot? That makes me feel shallow. I know yoga is not mere  a series of asanas. It reaches beyond and much deeper than that. It is more than bendy-ness that renders people awestruck. Maybe I am not just yet. Maybe I should call myself a self-confessed circus performer or an attention whore. That might be true. But I have no idea what people really genuinely think of me. Perhaps, it is just a phase and everyone of us needs to go through each, being a poser, a gymnast, a contortionist and finally a yogi or being a unique combination of all these. You’ll never know about how you will make progress, neither will I.

In the meantime, let me roll out the yoga mat and practice once again. Only without that camera and flash. Namaste.

Author: akhlis

Writer & yogi

3 thoughts on “What Are You? A Yogi, Gymnast, Acrobatic Player, or Attention-seeking Performer?”

  1. Hmmm we are all merely babes in the land of Yoga haha, learning as babes do about ‘I, me, my’ we are just starting out on this centuries old journey to wholeness. I think it can be daunting and looking for support from others through social media is one way of feeling less isolated.

    Now I do feel that we all succumb to the the ‘look what I can do’s’ (myself included!!) but if we can acknowledge this then we can prevent the Samskara’s from continuing. However if we perpetuate this notion of needing to be seen and admired, it can definitely take away from the progress we make.

    I find myself getting agitated with the amount of Yoga photos I see of the famous Teachers I subscribe to on Facebook, every day, sometimes more than once or twice, selfies of them doing Yoga..it seems to go against the whole Vanity thing that Yoga is supposed to help us with..the worshiping of the physical..not to say we should ignore the beauty of the body in Yogic form, I think it’s something wonderful to witness..however when you see multiple shots of a person every single day in your feed doing Yoga, it just becomes unnerving, and you begin to wonder “Why does this person require so much exposure??” It goes beyond merely educating or having fun, it becomes an obsession for some, to see what I mean, merely take a peak at Kathryn Budig’s wall, you’ll see a million photos of her…this was once considered Narcissistic behavior, now however it seems to be more the norm.

    I think perhaps the question should be: What is social media fostering in us as a species??

    Great article 😀

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