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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bikram Yoga was perfect yesterday, because it was imperfect

I am a perfectionist living in an imperfect world and constantly disappointed in myself for not achieving what I think should be achievable. I have little patience for failure and typically only stick with things I am good at. Yesterdays Bikram Yoga class helped remind me there is no perfection and that as long as you try your hardest, you are getting the benefits of your efforts.

It is easy to beat yourself up in Bikram Yoga class for not holding the posture long enough or not going as far as you did last time or thinking you should be able to do it better. I mean, lets face it, it’s darn hot, you are sweating, the postures are not natural everyday positions and what seemed easy yesterday seems impossible today. But Karen, the instructor last night, reminded the class that each class is different and you need to listen to your body. It is so true too. I felt energized when I got into class but then for some reason some of the postures that seem the easiest were hard and I kept falling out. I was getting frustrated with myself, annoyed that what should be easy wasn’t. This type of attitude and self deprecating thought pattern is not useful in the yoga room; it actually can make your class even worse. In the middle of my negative thought process I heard Karen and just stopped and told myself it was ok and to cut myself some slack. I mean really, I just did over 4 hours of yoga on Saturday, over 3 hours on Sunday and took class on Monday, I think taking it easy one day is OK.

So I changed my thoughts and just focused on doing the best I could do and being happy with what I could give. Trying my hardest but not feeling bad if I didn’t do every posture as well as I had in the past. And do you know what? I had a great class! From that point on class was easy. Not easy in the sense it was effortless but in the sense that it just flowed and I wasn’t exhausted. My energy wasn’t being wasted on what I couldn’t do or should be doing, it was all focused on what I WAS doing and being totally happy with that effort.

As I sat in Rabbit I realized I was energized and not limp like a wet noodle. And class was almost over! I hadn’t held every posture or completed every posture the best I had ever done but I was happy anyway. It was as if I had the best class, perhaps the most perfect, imperfect class.

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