I took a look at a yoga teacher application for a studio the other day and one of the questions was, "What makes you a good yogi?" Uh... part of me wanted to disappear because I suddenly felt so unworthy of calling myself a yoga teacher. But the other, more honest part of me wanted to flip the bird to the owner and make a dramatic beeline for the door because, "OMG. How dare you?!" I'm quite certain that, with my "goodness" even being in question, I definitely would not fit the description of a "good yogi." I eat real cheese, drink red wine and stout beer. I like my steak cooked medium rare and I wear mascara to every yoga class I teach. I cannot hold a handstand, my leg won't fit behind my head and savasana has yet to elicit a good cry from me. Good yogi? No, sir.
Have we really reached the point where we're judging people's "goodness" in a realm where there should be no judgment? Lucky for me, even with all my flaws, my classes are still full and I have thousands of students online. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because it's so hard to believe that they actually still like me. I'm a self-proclaimed bad yogi and it's a fun title, but this is more than just a name. People are waking up. This is a movement. There is a shift happening. The tide is turning and the yoga bubble is about to burst. I want to eradicate the self-righteous virus in the yoga community that gives one person more worth over another for any reason.
Perfection is not the goal. Progress is always nice, but get away from the need to find it in every yoga class you take. Here's a dirty little secret: despite what the yogi's requirements are these days, in my classes, you have permission to be round or thin. You can be a meat-eating, cigarette smoking, cursing, SUV-driving, a**hole and guess what? Yoga is for you! No matter what anyone makes you feel, please remember that yoga is never about your goodness or your grace. It's whatever you want to make it, and however you show up is just perfect.
For more by Erin Motzenbecker, click here.
For more on yoga, click here.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more