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Several years ago, I made a commitment to myself to practice yoga for the rest of my life. It’s a commitment that I take seriously, and I have every intention of some day being one of those amazing 90-year-old women who inspires everyone with their dedication to yoga. Unfortunately, right now, I fall a little short. Luckily, I’ve learned that perfection is not the goal, but instead the process is the most important part of the practice.So instead of being embarrassed about my short-comings, I’m trying to embrace them and see them as tools for self-exploration.
Here are just a few of my confessions:
1. I don’t practice every day. I don’t make it onto my mat, anyway. But I do breathe deeply, practice mindfulness, and try not to go into a wild rage during my morning commute.
2. When a yoga teacher asks for requests at the beginning of class, I secretly hope for some really crazy hard poses. (I need a physical challenge to get out of my head and into my body.) But I almost never speak up because I don’t want my classmates to be annoyed with me or think I’m showing off.
3. I don’t always agree with my teachers. In fact, there have been times when I didn’t even like one or two of my teachers in the moment! Luckily, you don’t have to agree with someone all the time to learn from them or to respect them. In the long run, I am infinitely grateful for every one who has shared their wisdom with me.
4. I try to live by the yamas and niyamas, but I don’t obsess over them. In fact, I don’t even know them all by heart! I’m OK with not being perfect because of my yoga practice. Beating myself up over not complying with the yamas and niyamas at all times would be counter productive and maybe even a little hypocritical.
5. I still get embarrassed when I’m having an off day. No matter how silly I know it is, I can’t get over feeling embarrassed when I have one of those days that I can’t balance or concentrate. I know that no one else cares what I’m doing, but my ego takes a hit anyway.