Practice With Love
I want to remind us all to infuse our yoga practices with compassion and love. We get so caught up in pushing ourselves to our limits that we lose sight of our deep human need to be accepted as we are. Let’s let our time on the mat be for more than just pummeling through physical boundaries. Let's take the time to soften our minds and open our hearts and give ourselves credit for simply showing up that day. Let’s let our practice be the time in our day in which we love ourselves in our most flawed state. What a radical idea!
Well, it's radical for a self-abusive perfectionist like myself. I want my time on my mat to be about self care in every possible way, and it's usually anything but. While there is certainly value in pushing myself harder than I think I can stand, lately I’m feeling like that intense work should only come from a place of abundance. If I’m in a scarcity mind-set and feeling less than, it is not the time for me to push. That is the time for compassion and acceptance for when I am at my perceived worst. When I’m feeling whole...THAT is when I'm safe to push.
I know many Ashtangis might disagree with me, and that’s ok. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m speaking as someone who has long suffered from self-abuse on the mat. I’ve put myself through so much shame in my practice, and I have found that the only way out is to go in and listen to what my quiet, scared little heart is saying. I will always be a pusher. By nature I always want more. The journey I'm on is learning to accept myself where I am in the moment. Maybe that’s not the lesson for everyone, but I feel myself breaking down a very different kind of barrier this way. My heart is opening and growing louder. It’s a new feeling, and it's a good one.
"Let go of who think you should be; embrace who you are" - Brene Brown