These words came out of a 70 year old yoga teacher’s mouth during a yoga workshop I attended about a year ago. As someone who had always tried 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 both on the mat and in my life.
Acceptance of oneself is a beautiful thing.
May you be happy
May you be safe
May you be joyful
May you be free