*Originally posted May 11, 2016
One of the things that’s easy to say but hard to accept about Yoga is simply this. A person’s Yoga practice will never be perfect. Even if you are rocking out a posture hard and and the teacher looks over at you and says “Perfect Abigoliah.” It only means that you were to execute that one posture perfectly in that one moment. It has nothing to do with your over all practice. We all have good days, and we all have bad days. Sometimes the bad days are your own damn fault. Maybe you haven’t been fueling your body and hydrating correctly. Maybe you stayed up too late and partied. My reasearch has also showed that some bad days just happen. Maybe it’s hormones, or maybe you just need a break but there are classes when you walk in having done everything correctly to prepare and your spine feels stiff and your head feels fuzzy. And it’s ok to have bad days because as I’ve learned (and I hope you have as well) the more consistent the practice the more even the practice. If you practice daily, or just regularly, the bad days get spaced further and further apart and you simply start to have just days. Days where you nailed somethings, maybe missed some others but it’s ok because you’ll pick it up the next day.
On day five I mentioned that I kicked out in Standing-Head-to-Knee. If you recall this posture has been the bane of my yoga existence since I started. Since day five, somedays I’ve kicked out but not been able to lock the top knee, somedays I haven’t kicked out at all, and other days I’ve just grabbed my foot and fallen over. Everyday trying, everyday getting a different result. Today I touched my forehead to the knee. Then my whole body shook. I thought “AH! I did it!” Then I fell over. It wasn’t pretty, it was far from perfect but I did it! And that’s one step closer to being able to do it consistently everyday.
Break thrus in Bikram Yoga are a funny things. When we practice no one talks but the teacher. So it would be inappropriate after falling out of my janky Standing-Head-to-Knee pose to yell, “I DID IT!” out loud. But when I fell out I did visualize a little parade happening in my honor for just that occasion.
Today I took the 10am class from Sindy, she’s about the size of my thigh and a real fire cracker. Whenever she tries to say my name in class she gets nervous she’ll say it wrong and then does. But she tries and I like her more because she does. She said something in class today along the lines of: You should never be satisfied in your yoga class (or in life for that matter). If you get to a point where you feel good in class and you think to yourself “This is fine.” The you need to push further to get different results. I think that’s why a practice can never be perfect. Because no matter, how often or how long you’ve practiced there’s always something to do. There’s always a new goal to strive for. I find the fact that there’s no real end goal refreshing. Small goals are fine and helpful to keep you motivated. Touch your forehead to your knee. Stay standing throughout the whole class. Lock you knee. These are simple things you can have in your mind as you practice. But if your goal is to do all the yoga posture perfectly everyday; that’s impossible. You just have to be open to ever changing possibilities.
Let’s be honest, if yoga asanas could be mastered and mastered quickly there’d be no yoga. We’d all stop practicing out of boredom. As soon as you get one element there’s always another layer, or a more advanced posture after that. I’m excited I had a break thru today. I know it’s not one step closer to be finished. It’s just one step closer to the next thing.