Sometimes I find myself sifting through endless and beautiful blogs or photos on social media to do with yoga. I love them (they are amazing and inspirational!) But I find myself asking this question. If I can’t touch my toes in such a perfect manner, or do the splits like a gymnast, am I achieving yoga?
So many pressures around perfecting the yoga pose. I get overwhelmed with these images and constant competitive posts that make me feel like I need to achieve crazy things in order to call myself a yogi, or an “Expert” at yoga.
I have not been gifted with a flexible body and, in fact at this point in my life, a body with injury and imperfections. Imperfections, according to how my body should behave when I’m doing yoga, how my body should look whilst doing yoga and how my body moves to consider myself a yogi.
After many years of practicing, my paschimottanasana, (seated forward bend), has definitely improved and I have really felt my body and mind letting go gently and more easily. But I still can not completely rest my head on my legs and wrap my hands around my feet.
This is my yoga, perfect, just as it is.
This is my body, perfect, just as it is.
We need to look at yoga as a way to come back to ourselves, a deeper connection than just the perfect toe touching pose. We need to let go of all the images, the ego and remember that just the plain and simple fact that you have returned to your mat, day in and day out, without fear of disappointment or without those outside pressures that make you think you should be touching your toes.
This is your commitment to yourself and your practice and this is practice enough!
Yoga is about discovering your true self. To expect the unexpected. To bring out your complete self. The good, the bad, the in-between. It’s about finding you, without all the chatter in your mind and the thoughts that build up throughout the day. It’s about building your inner strength slowly and gently. Yoga is about being with your breath. It’s about love – love for yourself, love for others and the connection you have with the natural world around you.
Yoga is about coming home.
Find a way to let go of the “perfect” yoga pose and just BE. Completely, fully, bare-naked and beautiful YOU!
If you can do this now, and continue to do this each day, one day soon you’ll be able to touch your toes! ;)
“Yoga is not about touching your toes, It’s about what you learn on the way down”
-judith hanson lasater
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