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Ego and Perfection

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yoga is important in my life. I practice it daily 5 or 6 days a week and I teach 5 yoga classes a week. I know that yoga is not about perfection but about what your body and mind can attain on any particular time and day. I also know that I need to check my ego at the door when I start a yoga practice.
So.... given that I know all that, why do I find myself in the midst of my practice with my teeth clenched, struggling to get my leg one mm closer to the floor in front splits? Why do I find my mind filled with the comments of my teacher at my last lesson and berate myself for not following his suggestions to the letter? Why do I let myself feel inferior because I look around a class, I focus on what I am not doing instead of what I am doing?
I want to shake the habits of so many years of being a people pleaser, of being hyper vigilant to protect myself, of seeing perfection as the only option and anything else as failure. I have done that is so many areas of my life, being able to accept both/ands, doing as much as I can and letting go of the results... why is it still here in the area of my life that is so important to me?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Knowing our faults is the first step to change. Thank you for reminding us that we don't have to be people pleasers but simply be ourselves.
    2693 days ago
    I think this is where non-attachment comes in and remembering that yoga is about awareness and not evaluation. By focussing on the breath, and the mantra "begin again" when the breath is out of reach realligns the mind away from attaching to the outcome - whether the pose was "correct" or how one compares - to the experience. It is about the experience not the outcome. I also find that making a conscious effort to pay attention to softening the brow during a pose helps me to avoid striving, or clenching, for an outcome as well.

    My mantra is "Go slow, let the pose unfold, and breath as if your life depended on it."

    Finally, I try to remember when I step on the mat that my energy has the power to create a positive experience for everyone around me. When I am calm, when I consider that the person next to me will benefit from my ease and slowness, the quiet energy and joy that comes out benefits the whole room.

    2694 days ago
    I have not practiced for 3 years due to financial concerns of returning back to school- well- thanks to groupon I got two coupons to the local studio for 50 visits total for the summer. I tried the hot power yoga and found I was struggling, but the beginner was too easy- so I am back to the hot power yoga with modifications. My core abd muscles were cut during reconstruction surgery for breast cancer so the inversions are an issue and my upper body muscles are rearranged in some strange manner that doesn't support some positions, but... my form is not bad- especially for someone 3 years unpracticed- my flexibility has always been good, my focus is good- so I'm working with what I have and modifying what I don't have. It is always a journey. You have to start somewhere... and it is do delicious to feel the contracted muscles stretching out and feeling longer and the muscles are lining up in the right places.. Happy Yoga...
    2698 days ago
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