Updated: Jan 4, 2020
What makes or breaks your yoga practice? Do you consider it “broken” every time you went into Vrksasana (tree) pose and you fell out of it? Or when you went into your usual Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold) and you couldn’t touch your toes like you did yesterday? Or when your mind kept racing to what you’re going to do as soon as you leave your mat?
Yes, you are reading about one such individual who thought ALL of these thoughts (plus some) at one point or another. And as much as I’d like to say these negative notions no longer enter my brain, I’d be lying through my teeth (or my keyboard). Are they fewer and farther in between? Of course. I do think it is inevitable for these ideas to come along, but HOW you choose to react to these thoughts is more important. I’ve learned to smile and even laugh if my tree pose goes “timber!” and get right back up into the pose. I think about how yesterday was a kick-@$$ leg day (specifically hamstring), and that’s why I can barely touch my knees (let alone my toes) today in forward fold. And for all those items on my to-do list? There’s nothing I can currently do to cross them off, so I'm going to enjoy the moment I'm on my mat and come back to it after savasana.
The truth of the matter is: YOUR YOGA PRACTICE CANNOT BE “BROKEN.” And it cannot be “MADE”. It GROWS. The practice of yoga is ever changing, ever maturing, and ever YOURS. When you think you’ve got it perfectly, the teacher throws a curveball just because, well, why not? These are the instructors you should continue to learn from, because inevitably in life, change is the only constant. You get out of your practice what you put into it. Don’t be so hard on yourself and your practice. Don’t worry about falling out of that balance pose, or not getting that same flexibility you once had (yesterday). Let those thoughts enter your brain, but then let them float away without judgement. And above all else, don’t compare your pose to the one next to you. My yoga practice is different from yours, and is different from the person who is sitting next to you in class. We are all on this journey together, but each and every voyage is different.
And the next time you need a friendly reminder, think of this: