Ashtanga Quotes,  Reblogs,  Teaching Ashtanga,  Yoga Philosophy

False Positivity Is Not Yoga

Taken from my sister blog written by Shanna Small

” I will not be less than I am to make you comfortable”-from Jonathan’s Facebook wall


When I started this blog, I knew I was not going to write about rainbows and butterflies  and how you can find love and light. There are enough people doing that.

Why? Because covering up shit with perfume still leaves you with a pile of shit. The real work begins when we search out all the deep dark places and bring them to the light of day.

This blog has always been about the path to enlightenment which has  been called, “the dark night of the soul” because it is often not the pretty experience people want it to be but one where you are burst open and your whole world crumbles because you realize that nothing is real. Peace will always be fleeting to those they refuse to look at the ugly stuff. It is like like hiding something deep in your closet. It stays out of your awareness for awhile, but whenever the boxes shift, the pile of clothes pull back or you get ready to move, it resurfaces.

The Yoga Sutras doesn’t say that Yoga is about being positive at all times. It says , ‘yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind” which means being in a state of pure presence and seeing. That doens’t mean that  you are present for only the things you like and that are comfortable. It means being present for everything. If something unpleasant is dropped on you emotionally and physically, you look at it. You see it. You may not do anything with it, but  if you are present, you know that it is there.

“Breathe free and all is coming”-Pattabhi Jois

False positivity is the opposite of being present. Though you are smiling on the outside and saying all the right things,  your head is full of fluctuating negative thoughts. False positivity is not yoga. Pattabhi Jois’s statement above encompasses the essence of yoga. Many people take it to mean, “if I breathe and practice all this great stuff will come to me. I will be able to put my leg behind my head. I will be enlightened”. That is not what the statement said. It said, “ALL” is coming. And no matter what that ‘ALL” is, you must breathe free(in a calm manner) in the face of it. This is yoga.

Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail

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