Let me start by saying there are a lot of things that yoga has NOT ruined: yoga has not ruined my ability to focus and calm myself down; it has not ruined my sense of well-being or self-esteem (can't say that about yoga advertising, but never mind); it has not ruined my flexibility or strength; it has not ruined my sense of humor or love of irony. But there are several things that it has completely fouled up:
1. My need to keep the feet covered. Get 'em out of the shoes, get 'em out of the shoes! I realized this during class last month, when I had a new student with flat feet who wanted to keep her sneakers on because bare footed was painful with her fallen arches. I was so distracted by her shoes (not aesthetically), because I couldn't conceive of a well-balanced Trikonasana in shoes. She was fine--and has continued coming to class--but it made me feel so unsteady that I realized that I'm undone by the idea of something coming between my foot and the mat. (Take that toesox)
2. My interest in racquet sports. A few years ago I spent a month or two meeting a friend for introductory racquetball. It was fun, but I soon realized how frustrating it was to only be working one arm. One shoulder was warm and glowing, but the other seemed limp and useless. Same thing after soccer or catch with son #1. One leg/arm felt strong and flush, the other--underutilized. I'm so used to doing everything on both sides, that activities giving one limb preference over the other seem cock-eyed. (Not that I'm going to stop backyard sports, but I'm working on my left-hand throw which, surprisingly, is much better when playing football).
3. Heels. Yes, they're sexy and very appropriate with some outfits, but when I try on a pair of high heels and go tottering down the hall I feel like a 13-yr-old getting ready for her first dance. I can't handle all that weight on the balls of my feet and the tightness in my calves. My toes resent getting squished and my knees knock. A mess, to be sure. So I've adopted the kitten heel, which is an attractive silhouette and doesn't throw my alignment off. (When I actually get dressed up, which is probably two times a month, max)
4. Slouching. It's not that I had such rotten posture before yoga, but it ruined draping myself across my favorite chair and watching a movie. I'm super-aware of unsupported parts of the body (lower back, knees) and now have a whole routine with pillows and rolled blankets to support the drape. Very conscious of shoulders when knitting in front of the boob tube--which is probably a good thing, but makes that activity something of a production. Plus, it annoys cats who are trying to snooze on the aforementioned blankets. Popcorn is often spilled. Spouse is crowded.
5. Ignoring discomfort. Sometimes it's easier to pretend you don't notice something that's bugging you, but I can't do that anymore. Why does that shoulder hurt? Where exactly is the pinch? How does that relate to arm position/posture/angle of head/etc? Do I need to do homework in a different chair (see #4)? Can I take an Advil, or is that just delaying the inevitable? What pose helps? Heat or ice? I've never done well with discomfort and now it becomes the source of a great investigation--discoveries filed away for later pedagogical use. It would save time to just grit my teeth and bear it.
And so on. I try to keep my fussing to myself and not force these issues on others (altho it takes great restraint to walk past poorly-executed stretches at the Y or ignore ill-fitting sandals). Some folks just haven't had the pleasure of being ruined by Yoga...
Has it messed you up?