Are you a Yoga Pusher or a Yoga Sensualist?

- - Personality + Quizzes


A yogic pusher, that is. So maybe alert the yo po? The yolice? Er … on to the point.

Yoga Pushers + Yoga Sensualists

Joel Kramer (in Yoga as Self-Transformation) opened my eyes further to the fact that I fall into the category of what he calls “Pushers.” He believes there are two types of yoga practitioners: Pushers and Sensualists. In Joel’s words, “The pushers are more into control and progress – the sensualists, into surrender and relaxation.”

The pusher’s frame of mind: “…involves viewing a posture as an end to be achieved, a goal: how far you get in the posture is what counts.”

The sensualist’s frame of mind: “…views the posture as a tool to explore and open the body. Instead of using the body to “get” the posture, you use the posture to open the body.”

To quote R. Kelly, “I’m wise enough to know when a body’s callin’ me,” and mine is usually telling me to push, to compete, to go big, to be the best. And golly gee whiz if this isn’t exhausting. Exhilarating, but also exhausting, as there’s no room to enjoy.

I resist my limits. I like to believe I have none. In effect, I spend much of my practice not truly listening to myself (the real me, not my football coach alter-ego). I am aware, however, and this means I can change. I, too, can be a sensualist! I will defy the odds. I will be sensitive to internal feedback!

“When you change your focus from ‘resisting resistance’ to channeling energy into where the limits lie, your body can follow its own flow and open on its own, with minimal resistance. Trying forcibly to push past your limits actually creates more resistance and tension, whereas surrendering to the posture ultimately draws you into far greater depth. The body will tell you when to move and deepen if you listen to it.” (Kramer)

Do yourself and your practice a favor and read Joel’s article. It certainly moved me — toward a greater understanding of where I can soften and release this goal-oriented mindset and be in the moment, fully present.

artwork credit: Sam Dantone

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soothsayer. illusion slayer. intj/mastermind. writer + artist + strategist + innovator. california born, city of angels bred. gypset world traveler. la face with an oakland booty. queen of the jungle who doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

5 Comments to Are you a Yoga Pusher or a Yoga Sensualist?

  1. This perfectly describes me, and is partly why I stopped doing yoga for a while, recently. I couldn’t take the pressure I put on myself. I need to lean more toward the sensualist.

  2. Green Spell: Isn’t is sad how we knock ourselves off course like that!? Perfectionism can be so incredibly challenging.

    Well, we can have each other’s back on this one. More sensuality in our yoga! Forward march! :)

  3. I am a sensualist with soft attachments. A little bit pusher, but in what used to be known as “floorwork” back in the aerobics era, lol. I am not young, thin or well-heeled, either. So, I primarily practice yoga at home. My practice is full-to-BURSTING with pilates moves in it. I hope this doesn’t make it sound any less yoga. Somehow, I found a hatha studio which has pushers and is not middle path … but a mild style that is retro and hard to find. Somehow, I found a power yoga studio that does not spritz on the heat (and is popularly priced, too). Life can be good! ❤