I was teaching a class at The Yoga House last night and while cueing a pose I forgot the name for forearm. There was a bit of commotion going on outside our doors as a movie crew was setting up to shoot a film, and it had distracted me. I turned to the class and said, “you know, that body part between your elbow and your wrist? What’s that called again? Put that on the floor.”
It was not a perfectly taught class.
It’s important sometimes to take a step back and ask ourselves why do we want to be perfect? Does it really serve us to strive for perfection or is being good sometimes good enough? We explore this in yoga as we breathe, move and learn to accept the present moment for whatever the present moment is.
My imperfections and I will be teaching tomorrow hoping your good enough self can join me.
We live in an insanely competitive culture. We scramble to keep up with our neighbors and strive to accomplish more and do better. We compare ourselves against what we perceive others to have. The critic in our minds lets us know exactly when we’ve fallen short. Listening to that critic, causes us to put more and more unhealthy pressure on ourselves. We race against the people in our lives towards an imaginary finish-line thinking that when we cross it, the grass will finally be greener.
Is that ever true, though? Is the race ever over? Is there a point in stressing ourselves out if there really is no finish-line?
Yoga is a non-competitive practice where we turn to the breath and the physical postures to help us cultivate skills of self-awareness and discovery. We use these tools to turn inward and look at our inner landscape. Your grass is a lot greener than you think it is. As you continue to practice yoga, the impulse to measure-up to others naturally begins to fall away. Then, a stronger and kinder sense of self and your role in this world begins to emerge.
Yoga helps us find peace of mind. As we link movement of the body to the breath we teach our minds how to balance effort and ease. There are so few opportunities for us to cultivate finding stillness in our day-to-day. As you begin to practice yoga, that inner peace of mind starts to naturally become more accessible to you both on and off the mat.
Set some time aside for yourself before you start ticking through the perpetual to-do list. You know, that to-do list that will never really be complete, anyway. Place it gently to the side, and make a 75 minute investment in your well-being by coming to my yoga class and see if you notice a difference in how you feel about the rest of your day.
We assign labels to ourselves and to others all the time. I guess its a feeble effort to understand this crazy world around us. "Im not a morning person... he's bad with money... she's shy... I'm not very musical... he's so serious.... I'm depressed." You are not inherently any of these things.
Yoga is a practice of observation and self-acceptance. Our bodies and our minds feel a bit different every time we arrive on our mats. The practice of the physical postures and the cultivation of a steady breath helps us to accept what is, and what will be, as an ever-changing thing.
As you get out of bed tomorrow morning, you’ll leave thousands of dead skin cells behind. You’ll be a slightly different person tomorrow morning than the “you” who is reading this post right now. Think about that as a symbol of your limitless potential and come to my class We’ll practice dropping the labels and explore acceptance of the present moment with every breath.