It’s not how far you go, it’s how well you go far.
A 70 year old yoga teacher said this during a yoga workshop I attended about a year ago. As someone who had always strived to push the envelope (and my body) when going into challenging poses, her words really landed and totally changed the way I approach yoga and life.
Admittedly some of this is timing; being ready and open to hear the message or the teacher shows up when the student is ready. After years of pushing and straining I finally saw that there was in fact another way and in fact better way to go deeper into the pose, a gentler way to treat myself as I sweated, strengthened and stretched my body. I now love yoga. I have moved from a love/hate relationship to a love/love relationship with my practice. When I do pigeon now – one of my most challenging poses – I go to the edge of mild discomfort not pain, I breath and I accept that this is as open as my hips are today.
It has taken time, patience and perseverance. I had to keep showing up and doing to the work, just like life. The changes in class have come gradually, my focus has shifted inward (for the most part), I listen to and inhabit my body in more intimately. It’s not a race and there is nobody to compete with when I am on the mat. I think more and more about how well I go far.
And these changes have shown begun showing up in my life off the mat. Not as much as I would like but I see them nonetheless. Maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s the process of getting older and wiser, and growing through the challenges of life…whatever it is I’ll take it.
Acceptance of oneself is a beautiful thing.
May you be happy
May you be safe
May you be joyful
May you be free