faces of spirituality

18 Dec


I have a yoga student who brings a diet coke to class to sip on while practicing. Sometimes we even get to hear the pop of the can opening! It may seem a bit contradictory, as diet coke is not exactly the most sattvic of beverages, but I actually find it very refreshing. Her honesty – not the coke, that is.

I remember when I was in yoga teacher training. There were amazingly healthy people there. There were mason jars full of some type of purple sludge, lots of salad, and I myself was living at the farmer’s market that summer. I like to think that everyone was genuinely chasing down a healthy lifestyle and not posturing, but who knows. All I know is that I wasn’t about to eat any crap in front of the woman with the purple sludge.

I can only assume it was a similar environment for the next round of yoga teacher training the following year. I remember coming out of the Saturday morning class to a foyer full of teacher trainees. One of them was one of my favorite teen students; a long, lanky, soon to be college Freshman. He was by far the youngest teacher trainee I’ve ever seen. There he sat in the foyer, surrounded by experienced yoga students who are old enough to be his parents. As they sipped on tea, he sat there – calmly eating a big, chocolate donut. He made me smile that day, embracing the simple honesty, that  – hey, a chocolate donut sounds great today.

Don’t we all have our diet coke/chocolate donut moments? Are you beating yourself up over them? Does spirituality have to look a certain way?

Byron Katie says, “Don’t try to be spiritual. Be honest instead.”

My guess is that both of these students are getting a lot farther on their spiritual path by embracing their honesty. Don’t let this new diet coke ad fool you. Coke and yoga aren’t mutually exclusive! By embracing honesty, you are simply finding your way in to the real practice. By sitting with that can of diet coke and embracing our relationship to it, that is how we free ourselves from it. If we want to.

Rusty says often teases during class, “It’s not a big deal. Unless of course you want it to be.” 

 What’s your way in?

4 Responses to “faces of spirituality”

  1. paige December 18, 2007 at 12:54 pm #

    I always have a DC in the car on the way to church and wonder if anyone would mind if I brought it in… I feel sad I missed class tonight! Jeff home late.

  2. Malia December 19, 2007 at 7:53 am #

    I saw that can of caffine free diet coke the other day in class and it made me laugh, I totally drink diet coke, and coffee, and everything else… but I would never bring it to class because it’s supposed to be water and tea in a yoga studio, right? How funny we all are!

  3. Julie December 19, 2007 at 12:18 pm #

    I myself am pretty strict about not eating 2-3 hours before class but I can’t go in the morning without a little snack. For me this means dry Captain Crunch in a baggie on the way to class. Yep, that Captain Crunch, artificially colored, sugar filled joy!

  4. barefootbhakti December 19, 2007 at 2:24 pm #

    I’m not a drink person myself. Not diet coke, coffee, hot chocolate, or wine. It’s not a temptation at all. For me it’s sugar, preferrably in the form of chocolate.

    Ha! That Captain Crunch is my hubby’s favorite. I can smell it all the way across the house and I finally convinced him to stop buying it when it changed the color and smell of Drew’s diapers! I bet it’s a good little sugar boost to get you through practice!

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