"You make it look so easy. I’ll never be able to do that.”
With an attitude like that, nay-sayer, you never will.
Everything is possible until proven otherwise. Practice is the laboratory of possible. Challenge easily becomes limitation when we use the words CAN’T, WON’T, and DON’T without following them up with YET. Expertise requires experience, which in turn requires effort. Are you willing to go that extra mile?
Spoiler Alert: Yoga teachers don’t know any better.
We just know different. You get to see the flowing fruit grown from countless hours of cultivation, practice, and dedication. Creating a yoga practice is much more than a tall spine and open hips. We’ve navigated injury, explored anatomy, sweat buckets, studied with numerous teachers, and drank a whole lot of kool-aid before deciding to make our own for others to enjoy.
One is not born being able to jump from Downward Dog into Crow. Mistakes must be made, from which learning opportunities spring forth. The journey may be easier for some than others, but it’s still a journey nonetheless. There are first steps and plenty of plot twists. The real treat is that there really is no end in sight... for anything. One can always be stronger, faster, more flexible, more balanced.
There is this strange idea of 'getting better' that most people adhere to when they think about their practice. “I want to get better,” we tell ourselves, “so I can do all the things. All of them.”
Be prepared to go the extra mile, to spend time trying everything and exploring every detail. Mistakes only become failures if you don’t learn from them, so get ready for some double-barreled learning experiences.
Forget yoga class. Take away mirrors, tight pants, sutras, and chanting. Remove handstand challenges, Instagram, Facebook, and #Yoga. When you peel away all of the layers of your practice down to the bone, does it even feel good?
If yes, why? If no, why not?
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able point yourself in the right direction before going the extra mile. However, half the fun is getting lost. The rest comes from the realization that, no matter where you end up, you’re always exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Why do you practice? Share your thoughts in the comments below!