In this excerpt from JP Sears's new book, How to Be Ultra Spiritual, he argues that in yoga, the stretches don’t matter; it's what you call the stretches that matters.
Stretching is to yoga what gluten-packed bread was for Jesus—a thread in the very fabric of the holiness that is. As a matter of etymological interest, yoga comes from the Greek word meaning “to aggressively stretch.” Why is stretching such a prominent principle in this spiritual discipline? Simply put, when you violently stretch your body, it’s a loving act of going to war against the physical limitations of the only body you have. Stretching sends a menacing message to your body that shouts, “You think you can hold me back, make me obey gravity, limit my joint range of motion to a normal 120 degrees? Not on my watch, you low-vibration pile of spiritually underachieving meat!” In this way, you increase your flow.
In yoga, the stretches don’t matter; what you call the stretches matters.
In yoga, the stretches don’t matter; what you call the stretches matters. You’re not some weekend soccer player stretching her quads; you’re a semi-enlightened yogi doing Camel Pose! It might look like the same action, but calling it Camel Pose elevates you to a higher vibration. How? Because of the energy that flows from the words. But let’s take that flow one step flowier: Would you rather be doing Camel Pose or Ustrasana? The plot thickens! There’s thunder in the sky, and you’ve just been struck by Sanskrit lightning from the Gods of Yoga! What we have here is a clear case of a barely spiritual stretch paling in comparison to an Ultra Spiritual stretch.
Say you’re that weekend soccer player stretching your quads. You played in college; maybe you could have gone pro. But nobody cares that you’re stretching your quads before your inconsequential little game, because no one cares about soccer (except Communists) and they care even less about those who play soccer. But get this: you’re that same weekend warrior performing Camel Pose. Pow! You’re spiritual. And if the pose you’re posing in is called Ustrasana, you’re Ultra Spiritual. Just look at the two poses below to tell the ultra difference between them.
First, drop Sanskrit bombs only on inferior people who don’t know what the words actually mean. Your employing the amped-up vibratory term of a given stretch won’t help these plebeians at all, but it will help you come across as spiritual—a lot more spiritual than they are! And don’t worry about accurate pronunciation, and I say this for two reasons: First, it doesn’t matter. You’re speaking a foreign language to them, so mispronouncing words that they already don’t understand won’t make them not understand them any less. Third, your linguistically uncoordinated English-speaking tongue is incapable of correctly pronouncing anything in Sanskrit. If you’re certain that you’ve got the articulation just right, then you’re guaranteed to have it just wrong.
A final word on stretching: As proven above, anything spiritual is 90 percent physical. Stretching is 100 percent of the 90 percent of the physical. So when others stop bending forward with their head at mid-thigh level because they’re a slave to the pain of reaching their physical limits, you should tear on through further into the realm of orthopedic irresponsibility. Why? Because it’s worth it. Why’s it worth it? Because you’re winning, because of more flow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JP Sears is a curious student of life, emotional healing coach, and satirist best known for his popular YouTube channel. His “How to Be Ultra Spiritual” videos have accumulated more than 28 million views. JP is also the author of the forthcoming book, How to Be Ultra Spiritual: 12 ½ Steps to Spiritual Superiority (Sounds True, March 2017). Since 2006, he has offered emotional healing workshops around the world while maintaining a private practice in Charleston, South Carolina. For more, visit awakenwithjp.com.