This morning’s yoga session really got me to thinking about some things that I want to share with all of you. What started off as a morning of hell is becoming a lesson for me, and some lessons I can share with you.
So, I’m on Day 11 of the challenge. (I took one day off when I was sick.) This was yet another day when I realized that I wasn’t getting poses quite right, my flexibility is limited, and there are poses I put on the challenge that are just far too hard. At first, I was really upset and stressed. I felt like a failure and a loser, for not getting the poses right, for not being more capable yet, for not being able to figure out the poses, for putting things on the list that I couldn’t do, for putting the challenge out to the public without it being perfect… Man, it was really bad. I got through my session and had a bit of a rage afterward. Now that I’ve had time to cool off, I’m realizing that there are a lot of lessons in today’s session.
- Feeling bad because I’m not “good enough”: Even though I’ve been practicing on and off (mostly on) for three years, I’m still a novice. I have no professional training and I’m still learning. I’ll always be learning. It’s okay that I’m not Gumby yet. It’s okay that I can’t nail every pose. It’s okay that I have to make adjustments. This is a journey. People don’t just wake up one morning and perform perfect yoga routines on breezy beaches with the sun glinting off their perfect abs. In reality, it all takes time and patience and everyone progresses at different rates. As long as I’m trying, I’m doing the right thing.
- Feeling bad because I can’t do every pose: The internet puts out a lot of things with minimal or wrong information. The fact that I didn’t know that some of these poses were too advanced isn’t entirely my fault. I chose to use as wide a variety of poses as I could to get maximum body progress. That wasn’t a bad idea. I’m realizing after having these issues, that some people who are highly advanced will call something a beginner pose just because it’s easy for them. That doesn’t mean it’s actually suited for a beginner or someone with limited flexibility. Plus, a lot of stuff looks easier than it really is. Now that I think about it, I bet a lot of people learning from home get pretty depressed when they can’t do certain poses. The thing is, there’s not always a lot of info on how to do the poses, sometimes the information is wrong, and sometimes, it’s just far more advanced than we can currently handle.
- Feeling bad for putting out an imperfect challenge: Unfortunately, we live in a world where people push unrealistic perfection, and sometimes that can get to a person. I had to step back and remember that in my introduction post I did tell everyone that I’m not a pro, there might be changes, and this was mostly for me, I was just sharing in case others wanted to try. It’s not really such a big deal that I’m going to be making edits. There were things I didn’t know, and I can share my new knowledge along the way. I mean, did you know that wheel pose was only for the very advanced? I didn’t! So why feel bad about it? I’ll just change it to make it more novice friendly and share why in the comments. It’s a journey for all of us. Despite the society-driven B.S. that grabbed my mind this morning, making mistakes doesn’t make me a failure, it gives me a chance to share information with others so we can all learn and grow.
So there you have it. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, we’re all learning and it’s okay. We need to shove off the crap that society pushes on us to be instantaneously perfect at everything and to tear ourselves to shreds when we can’t live up to impossible standards. Shit happens. We’re real people. And of all things, even though a portion of society is trying to fuck it up, yoga is supposed to unite people and make them feel whole and good. It’s not supposed to be a reason to feel stupid, self-conscious, incapable, ugly or any other negative thing. We need to work together to grow and learn and feel better about ourselves in this journey we call life.