There is a reason Yoga is called a Practice

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With only 6 more weeks until my BIG move I am continually trying to decide which lesson I have learned from yoga to share with my students. For this week it will be “There is a reason Yoga is called a Practice.”

I love that we call yoga a practice. No matter my level of achievement it’s still a practice. Rod Stryker practices, Sean Corn and Shiva Rae practice. It somehow brings us all to the same level. (ok, kind of) They are able to achieve many poses that I have not found yet but still we’re all practicing right? Beginners practice, teachers practice and gurus practice. We’re all in this together. It makes us a community and I love that!

I also love it that it’s not “Practice makes Perfect.” How many of us have heard that old saying over and over?  I don’t believe the strive for perfection is healthy or even desirable. Not just in yoga but in life. Who wants to be around someone who thinks they are perfect or that everything has to be done their way?

I’ve spent many long years working on my need for perfection. I wanted to be the perfect mom, wife, housekeeper, gardener, crafter, PTA mom and church lady. The towels needed to be exactly level and folded the same way on the rod. The bedspread had to be wrinkle free and even on both sides. The kids had to be in the right programs and dress just the way I saw fit. The soup can’s were in alphabetical order! (Yes, It was exhausting!)

Then one day I realized that perfection is not possible. It was the day I forgot my son’s birthday. It was awful! I remembered the day before but, on that morning I forgot until he walked out the door on his way to school and reminded me. My heart sank low into my chest and I realized I had dropped the ball – a BIG one. I had hurt my son.  I was imperfect–big surprise!

So in Yoga, as in life I remind myself that I am not perfect, that I need to keep practicing. I know there is always room for growth, room for advancement or more awareness. Even when I feel that I’ve got Warrior One down pretty well, I ask myself, “Where is my mind? Am I present? Am I breathing?  Am I feeling competitive with the person next to me?” These little internal questions and adjustments are room for growth.

We are all on this journey of life together. We each have things to learn, ways in which we need to grow, adjustments to make. There are realizations to be had, people to love and sunsets to admire. Yoga is such a good analogy for this journey of life. So in life just like yoga remember to practice, practice, practice!

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