Monday, April 18, 2016

Does Yoga Ruin Your Life?

by Denelle Numis, CSOY Alum 2014 & Yoga Teacher in Denver, CO

“Yoga ruins your life.” –Richard Freeman
Richard Freeman is a supremely wise and knowledgeable teacher as well as the co-founder, along with his wife Mary Taylor, of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, CO. He studied extensively with the founder of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, K. Pattabhi Jois, and has since taught thousands of yoga teachers around the world. Is Richard right? Does yoga really ruin your life?
Like most Richardisms, this proclamation is the product of two threads: wit and truth.
Over the last few decades, the yoga asana practice has become widely popular in the western world for making people feel good and look good. It can help physically transform your body and mentally transform your mind, but did you know how much power it has transform your path in life as well?
The study of yoga asks you to participate in self-inquiry (svadhyaya) and calls you to make more mindful and meaningful choices with every decision you encounter. 

Yoga connects you to your core so much so that at some point, you have to shed so many layers that you can no longer ignore the truths.
Upon hearing that “yoga ruins your life” for the first time, I immediately identified with the paradox of yoga both dissolving my life and making my life. The deeper I got into my yoga practice, the more my childhood, adolescent and early adulthood dreams broke-off and a new mindful, intentional and conscious reality began to take shape.
Because of yoga…
  • I care more about the environment and reduce, reuse and recycle more than ever.
  • I ride my bike, take the bus and walk whenever possible.
  • I consistently eat more plant-based foods and rarely indulge in meat or dairy.
  • I meditate regularly, not as often as I like, but consistently enough to assist with a more mindful and conscious lifestyle.
  • I left a great career in New York to participate in my first yoga teacher training.
  • I moved to Colorado with a man I loved but soon realized how different we were.
  • I have ended relationships sooner rather than later to make space for deeper and more meaningful connections.
  • I left my “big girl” job opportunities post-MBA to pursue my profession as a full time yoga teacher. I took the separations as a sign from the universe that my passion should always be my priority.

After over a decade of practicing yoga and over 5 years of teaching the practice, I am a much happier, energetic and inspiring version of myself and I couldn’t be more proud of that. I have never been more real and honest with myself and others. 

Yoga may have ruined the ideas I had in my mind of what I thought my life would look like but I’m rather pleased with the results.


In 2009, Denelle completed her 200-hour teacher training with Shannon Paige at om time yoga in Denver, CO. She completed her 300-hour advanced teacher training with Gina Caputo at the Colorado School of Yoga in Boulder, CO in early 2014. Denelle also has a B.S., an MBA, a love of travel and an impassioned zest for life.

Denelle teaches alignment-based vinyasa yoga in Denver, CO. She is the co-founder & head teacher of Après Yoga. www.denelleyoga.com