Here are the thoughts I’m sharing in yoga classes this week 🙂
“The Goal of Yoga (No, It’s Not the Handstand). The yoga pose is not the goal. Becoming flexible is not the goal. Standing on your hands is not the goal. The goal is to create space where you were once stuck. To unveil the layers of protection you’ve built around your heart. To appreciate your body and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates. To make peace with who you are. The goal is to love, well…you. Come to your yoga mat to feel; not to accomplish. Shift your focus and your heart will grow.” -Rachel Brathen
I often tell my students in classes that there is no black belt level of achievement in yoga. We aren’t here to be granite statues. In each pose just feel, just be, just explore. Ebb and flow each pose on your breath, heighten on the inhales and deepen on the exhales. And some days you might just feel like a drunken flamingo and that’s okay. I tell them that today’s practice might be super off compared to the last time they were on their mat and that’s normal, no worries, no self-judgement. Each time we step onto our mats is different because different life experiences have happened to us and different emotions have gotten lodged in our body, some traumatic and some joyful. We cannot compare ourselves to the pretzel next to us, just as we cannot know their path in life and what they struggle with emotionally without being in their soul and shoes. That pretzel next to you might very well be berating herself in the mirror telling herself how terrible she is. And that lightheaded newbie next to you in child’s pose while everyone else is balancing might be having an emotional breakthrough and be feeling overwhelming clarity in mind, heart, soul, and purpose. Some days we feel that cheesy smothered burrito fighting within our bellies during our standing bow pulling pose. Some days we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and some days we feel free, like we’re spreading our wings for the first time. Let go of the ideal of perfection in yoga. There is no peak pinnacle black belt super star pose. We’re just there to feel and to learn to love ourselves. Pretzels, burritos, newbies, sweat puddles, anybody and everybody, we’re all just learning to love ourselves.