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The Dirty Side of Yoga, by Hannah Hilton

Yoga has a dirty side to it. Filth can contaminate even one of the most spiritual practices you could ever stumble upon. Yoga is about the union of your mind, body, and spirit, allowing you to find peace within yourself. You allow your ego to diminish as you tap in to the truth, the divine, and your soul.

However, when I log on to my Instagram or Facebook, Yoga seems to be more about ego. Social media seems to be a place where yogis display themselves in complicated poses or how fabulous their new yoga pants are. I’m the first to say, “Kudos to you for doing Crow on a waterfall ledge!” I can barely get into Crow without two blocks, so I understand why you are so stoked. And yes, I will admit the moment I get the pose without the blocks, you can sure as Ganesh count on me posting a picture of it because I honor the pose and acknowledge what it took me to get there. hannah hilton in crow pose

And yes – I am so glad that you found great yoga pants that don’t show your butt in yoga, which, by the way, as a yoga instructor I know from firsthand experience – I can see what kind of underwear, if any, you are wearing under your yoga pants.

I point out these two subjects because this is where yoga has become dirty, tainted with ego and competition. A vast majority of the practitioners no longer treat it as this beautiful, sacred practice that it is. A lot of people treat it as a trend. Yes, a trend. Something that is cool for a year or two, and the following year they will be on the next bandwagon. Is that Barre or CrossFit? Have you lost the true meaning of “yoga”?

For some, yoga is not a trend. It is not a physical practice. It is healing your soul, your heart, your life, your body. It is where you connect with the Divine. And I can assure you – the Divine could care less about your “insert name brand here” pants or your amazing Koundinyasana. The Divine asks you to allow your ego to dissolve; empty yourself so the Divine can fill you up. I’m not so sure spending $100 on yoga pants is allowing you to empty yourself – maybe emptying the bank account.

With all of us this being said – come back to the roots of yoga. It lies within your own soul. We have lost ourselves in the muck of everyday hustle and bustle, clouded our thoughts and heart, and lost track of our destinations – ultimate peace and oneness with the Divine. We’ve jumped on the trend bandwagon, and, in the process, fed our egos by the amount of likes we get on social media and compliments we get on how amazing our butt looks, but we haven’t fed the Truth…

Hannah Dancers

So I simply ask my fellow yogis:

Take time to meditate.

Take time to read the Sutras, the Gita, the words of the greats that have preceded us.

And it’s ok to show your love for yoga and your skills, but talk about the journey that brought you to that pose.

Talk about what you gained from the pose… what you had to give up and detach from yourself, to find yourself in that pose.


Yoga Bio PicHannah Hilton is just a woman on a journey—with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair. She is melodically mellow minded with the creative curiosity of a young child. A little yin and a little yang, a nelipot who loves Mother Nature, yoga, live music, good friends, good conversation, good food, art, and a lover of laughter! Follow Hannah’s journey here or connect with her on Facebook.

One Response to “The Dirty Side of Yoga, by Hannah Hilton”

  1. Reanna says:

    What a great read! I love seeing pictures of yogis in their cool poses and I look at the pictures in admiration because I know their journey shines through the picture. I hope we all can find our inner yogi and hope it shines through all the photos.

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