I often tag my yoga pics with #PracticeMakesProgress to remind myself that the goal of my practice is NOT perfection. The reason I get on the mat is to express my dedication to healing and healthy living. I get on the mat to Embody My Body, to feel all the sensations that sometimes get buried in the harried activity of day-to-day life, to listen to the messages the body is trying to tell me:
“Stretch longer and deeper.
Get your heart rate up.
Increase the blood flow and get upside down.
Go outside and move.
Soak up the energy and healing of nature.
Get more sleep and rest. Take more breaks.
I get on the mat to strengthen and unite my body, mind and soul. I get on the mat to alleviate the aches and pains, to release both the physical and emotional tension. I get on the mat to allow my inner child and spirit some much needed time for play and creativity.
I get on the mat to become a better me. There is no graduation from the mat. There is no medal, ribbon or parchment that tells me I have reached the peak of achievement. I feel progress in the growing strength of my muscles, the increased mobility of my joints and stability from my improving balance.
My focused breath becomes more controlled and steady. My lungs more efficiently extract oxygen from the air to and through my body. I am calmer, more at peace. I feel centered and grounded.
I step out of my ego, let go of my limiting attachments and beliefs. I feel more attuned to the vibration and energy of the universe of which I am one small, but important part. I more truly recognize my oneness with others, my connection to all living things.
I grow, I learn, and I am never finished learning and growing. I will fail and fall a thousand times more. I show my progress through resilience, by always getting back up and trying again. I continue moving forward, rather than regressing or staying stuck in a rut.
And while I strive for excellence in all that I do, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, I understand that true perfection does not arise from what one has or accomplishes, but in who one is. Someone of compassion, passion, desire, drive, discipline and humility, with the capacity to reason, understand others and, most of all, Love.
That’s an outlook we all need to be reminded of more often, especially in a society that strives for perfection!
Thanks, Jessie! Yes, I think it’s a sad thing when our society focuses so much on endless achievement and unattainable perfection, rather than on betterment of the self and betterment of the community.