Un-Manly // why is it scary to move towards something better? a man’s perspective on becoming un-manly //
Thats right, and I most likely already scared off half of the male readers with that statement. Yoga makes you “un-manly”. Since doing my best Yogi impression for the last 5 years, I have explored my feelings, sat in my emotions, cried (this is a hard one for me) Did a crap load of Yoga, taught Yoga, taught SUP yoga and went to several Yoga festivals… I am becoming Un-Manly. OK, cool we all agree on that, but what is “Un-Manly” really?
The Western Culture who has brought us up from infancy to believe in the traits of a manly man. We have been brainwashed. I too bought into that role and thought pattern. I decided to become a cop in my early twenties. I drove fast cars, I got to shoot guns, get in fights, take people to jail, about as manly as one can get. Until I realized those things stoked my ego, but did little to bring me closer to my true nature. Which is much softer than those things.
I came to yoga via a blown out knee from mountain bike racing. I powered through my first class comparing my athleticism to a few other men in the room. It was hot and sweaty, and of course there were a ton of great looking woman in the class, so I stuck out my two week trial, practicing every day. At the end of two weeks I found myself wanting more. Something shifted in me. I felt great of course, merely breathing oxygenating cells through deep breath and clearing my head through deep intention and presence. The shifts have been subtle but consistent from those first classes.
I have dropped some ego, become a little more compassionate, a little more loving, a little less reactive, and have a good understanding of the true nature of yoga.
SUP-Yoga was my next hurdle, as being a surfer the SUP-ers were always getting in the way, and in my shallow mind ruined the true nature of surfing. My friends pushed and pushed me to try SUP, until I finally caved one day merely to appease them. You may have guessed already I cant get enough of it now, and my love for SUP-Yoga grows every day. I went from a hesitant paddler, to training with Paddle into Fitness, to teaching at Wanderlust California this year.
So if this life of mine is becoming more un-manly each day, I’ll take it. My identity has changed, softened. I have an understanding of how things are, and why things are through yoga, and SUP that I never would have imagined wearing a cop-uniform. Its scary to change, its even scarier not to. Head towards something better each day. Yoga, and SUP-Yoga are two amazing ways to move one from the head, to the heart.
May all beings be happy! May all beings be peaceful! May all beings be free!
– a blog contribution by SUP Yoga Ambassador: Rick Anglemoyer