Feeling entirely overwhelmed by the meaningfulness of another talk by Krista Tippet, this time with Maria Shriver, a journalist and one of the Kennedy family, I decided to translate a tiny bit of that richness and wisdom into our yoga field.
First, let me share with you an excerpt from the talk:
MS. TIPPETT: We are so skilled and trained, all of us, to be presentational. And we’re good at presenting. And this is what we get educated to do, is present. And now there are all these platforms for presentation, and yet it’s so true, as a woman, that there are women who look like they have it all, but if you get in close enough to any life, you see this. But it is debilitating, this presentational skill that we have.
It struck me that it can be so relevant to yoga practice, too.
Everyone has physical and physiological limitations and it’s not about not having them, but to embrace them! Did you know that sometimes it’s a thickness of your cartilage around your bones that determine how deeply you can safely get into the posture? Forcing it against the pinching ache might result in a chronic pain or cartilage inflammation! You can’t reach your toes with your fingers? How could anybody, who would work in a sitting posture for over 20 years? If you want to stretch your tendons, you’d need to let them evolve at their natural pace! We all have our own stories, and some of them are written in our bodies – you come to yoga class to take care of them, not to push on them.
Quite unfortunately, yet still ubiquitously in our culture, the habit of presenting oneself as a main and only aim is strong and sometimes it overwhelms the noble motivations to come to a yoga class.
To get out of this not entirely supportive pattern, it might be useful to keep asking a question:
which variation of the pose is the most beneficial for me today?
Finding the answer over and over again, that’s a quest, but that’s a treat, too!
I’ve heard countless times from people: „I’d love to go to a yoga class one day, but I’m not flexible enough/I know nothing about it/ I’m not (fill in with any problem) enough. But that’s the point – YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Practicing yoga is, or can be if we allow ourselves, a kind, thoughtful self-care practice.
Happy imperfect day! 😉
PS: If you’re interested in listening to the whole conversation I’ve mentioned in this post, click on this link.