on the mat is a state of mind
So many firsts tonight.
The first time I’ve been out of my head in weeks.
My first handstand.
My first lower, from plank to floor, no knees.
My first heels-on-the-floor down dog.
The first time ever I’ve felt as though my yoga was truly beautiful, the kind you dream of when you first start going to class.While I was busy trying to get out of my head, trying to cope with the stress of moving and traveling and running a business, I did a lot of really good yoga. My focus was so mental that I didn’t really notice what was happening with my body. I was getting stronger, my movements more intentional and precise, my form improving by leaps and bounds. Blue Lotus has no mirrors, so I couldn’t have seen this happen, especially given how preoccupied I’ve been with everything going on upstairs. I saw it tonight, with my eyes closed.
I was in my body, without a thought in my head other than the awareness of my posture, and it was beautiful, really mind-blowing yoga. The most perfect yoga I’ve ever done, in mindfulness, intention and form. If I had been doing yoga to get in shape or to accomplish something other than just being there, I would’ve quit months ago out of boredom. As per Rolf Gates, “when we are really practicing yoga and abiding by the principles of yoga, then we are making a commitment to focus on the nature of our efforts and not the nature of the results. … When we focus on what we can get out of yoga, we miss the point. … To realize the beauty of yoga in our lives, we must never forget that the prize is in the process.”
This is true in yoga and in other parts of our lives as well. I’ve put so much into my business, focusing on the day to day, making sure that I present myself well and accurately, doing each treatment with the same commitment and enthusiasm as my first. One day, I look up, and my business is thriving. Wow. One day I look up and I’m in a handstand, my heels are on the floor in down dog, I’m in chaturanga inches from the floor. I’m happy. Look at that.
When we give up trying to control the end-result, stop striving for something larger than life, we find it in our enjoyment of the little things, in the amazing gifts that are bestowed upon us every day. When we believe in ourselves and in our power to succeed (often despite our best efforts to the contrary), we do more than we ever thought possible, without even trying.
So let go of the pressure to be someone you are not (yet). Revel in who you are, in this moment, this day. Be the most amazing version of that person that you can be, right now. And the person you are striving for? He’ll show up.