Several years ago I went to my first yoga class. It was a free event and I thought “why not?!” The best part was that I immediately fell in love. I was pretty pleased with myself for being able to keep up with the class, maintain correct form and if I'm being honest, proud that the teacher didn't correct my form at all.
Fast forward a few years ago and my friend introduced me to Bad Yogi. I remember being completely enraptured by Erin’s energy and philosophy. This was yoga I could get on board with.
Of course, my practice has wavered since then. I'm consistent and then I'm not. I can hold plank and other times I need to drop to my knees. Sometimes my feet are flat on the ground in down dog, others I just can't stick it.
Several weeks ago I went to a free yoga class in NYC. I had been to these sessions last summer so I was excited to start going again. But if we're being honest, it was the worst class I've ever taken.
Now, I realize that sounds anti-yogi and pretentious. Who am I to judge another teacher? Here's the thing, though, this class didn't flow at all. My body was not a fan and it immediately put a damper on my time on the mat. Even my friend that was with me was having a difficult time for the same reasons.
I immediately realized the lack of flow made me uncomfortable. I heard myself thinking things like, “I'm not liking yoga right now”; “Why aren't we flowing like all the other classes I've taken?”; and “ugh… This isn't how we should be doing this.”
And then I checked myself.
I was present. I was in this park on a gorgeous summer evening with cool breezes flowing over me, the sounds of the city creating their own music, doing something that brings me peace. Showing my body, mind, and spirit the love it deserves. I was showing up.
And that's all that mattered.
Sometimes things don't go the way you want or hoped they'd go, but that's where the lesson is. Instead of complaining I didn't like the sequence, or just staying in child’s pose, I did what I could and kept moving forward.
And that's the number one lesson to life. That magic trick everyone is always looking for: