It was Wednesday evening, and I was comfortably perched on my yoga mat in class, doing the usual pranayams before practicing some asanas. (sounds like the making of a rap song!)
Soon after, we started practicing some poses. I was fine until we got into one particular pose. I was the only one who was unable to hold the position due to lack of balance (and we were on the floor, mind you). After several attempts I was disgruntled and unknowingly let out a loud sigh. My fellow yogis couldn’t help but laugh as it was obviously a simple pose, and I was the only one who could not seem to get it right.
As is the norm, after practicing the asanas, we all sit on our mats listening to our guru (teacher) speak about the benefits of the asanas we just performed or of some elements related to Yoga. Today she spoke about “Getting My Flow” (what I chose to call the talk as I believe it was directed towards me)
There are eight parts (sorry, I forgot the sanskrit name for it) to Yoga, and the asanas (positions) only make up one-eighth. No doubt, people perfect themselves with years of practice. (Not true, I thought to myself as my friend just started with me and she could hold the position!!!).
At this point is seemed the Guru read my thoughts and went on to say that Yoga was not all about achieving the Perfect Pose. Yoga is meant to help you achieve an inward connection between your mind, breath and body. She explained that by focusing on the long term benefits (better digestion, improved sleep patterns, mood enhancement, stress elevation, strength and flexibility), one should not just focus on attaining the perfect pose. Although each pose has a purpose and benefit, mastering it takes practice.
She concluded with the following pearls of wisdom for my benefit and I would like to share this with other beginners like myself:
There will always be Struggles
There will always be someone who will be more stronger and more flexible than you in class (or anything else you do in life). Concentrating on your own individual progress and staying connected to yourself will ensure strength and perfection in all that you do.
It’s only Yoga!
Be able to laugh about it and create a lightness around everything that you do. Don’t take life too seriously.
So, next time you are struggling with an asana, (or something in life) take a deep breath in, Smile and Exhaaaaaaaaaaaaaale……….!