The more I learn, and I am in constant learning mode, the more I realize that yoga isn’t about doing perfect poses. It’s about challenging yourself to move toward a pose, to the best of your ability. I’ve seen strong and super flexible people doing yoga poses perfectly who aren’t doing yoga, and I’ve seen weak, inflexible people, who look nothing like the pictures in the yoga books and magazines, fully embracing, displaying and receiving the benefits of yoga.
The main thing to aspire to, when looking at the yogi(ni)s in books and magazines, is their look of soft focus. The truest yoga comes from being fully aware of your body as you move, or attempt to move, into and maintain, a pose. It’s noticing how your body feels while you’re doing your best. It’s learning to be smart about body posture so you know the subtle adjustments that will support you and take care of your body while it’s working toward improvement. It’s about finding ease and strength, simultaneously. It’s about being aware of your breath, and keeping it steady while your body is moving in ways that it doesn’t normally move in your daily activities.
Yoga imitates life because there are times in life that we feel uncomfortable, challenged, and sometimes downright miserable. Yoga teaches us how to accept what is, stay or come back to calm, focus on intelligent adjustments that can be made, and breathe through the difficulties. It’s a practice. It’s a practice that can benefit everyone...even you.