It happens to the best of us. As we launch ourselves into a brand new yoga practice, we have this preconceived notion of what we think it should look like. This idea comes from what Instagram and Facebook and Google image search results of skinny, limber yoga models show us. This is our perception. Which also becomes our expectation of ourselves. And perception and expectation, these are the root of all disappointment. Fo’ real.
The thing that makes me sad about this is that yoga isn’t about a body type. It’s not about being thin or being stretchy. It’s about finding out what you need from it. Finding yourself. And just as that is a difficult practice, finding your yoga can be a difficult thing. There are many different ways to practice yoga. It can be the breath-and-movement. Pranayama. Finding your relationship with the divine. The only constant in all of this is beginning right where you are. Acceptance. Presence.
And presence is the hardest asana of all. Lemme tell you what.
When you are present, the what ifs, the expectations, the “I’m not good enough’s”, these all melt away like the last snow of the season. Your breath becomes the focus, listening lightly to the cues of your teacher, vaguely hearing the music, never seeing those around you. That’s what happens when you are truly present. When you have found your yoga.
Sounds like bliss, doesn’t it? It really is. When you can achieve it. And after all these years, I can nail it about 70% of the time. That’s it. So I encourage you not to expect it always or judge yourself on your ability to be present during every class.
Just this morning, I couldn’t just breathe for more than one cycle. I had this hair-brained idea to wake up my J. Let him get his stuff done early. Welllll…that woke up Cameron. They argued about the bathroom. Then Cam played his piano. John had his radio on in the shower. I heard Cam dump the cereal. Then knock on the door to use the bathroom. And J hollered when he flushed. It was chaos. And my mind was all over it.
Yet when I went to class at 9:15, I can’t tell you of one single thought I had. Except for the one about the really handsome gentleman who was leaving as I was going in. I turned to look at him and he was turned around looking at me. It was a great moment. I hope to run into him again 🙂
Find that which makes you present. Let go of expectations. Of outside thoughts. Focus on the inner. And quit wondering about the cute guy you saw before class.