Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yoga, freedom, and forgiving ourselves

I've been using an app called Yoga Studio to create customized classes. The app has a vast number of asana that you can add, mix, match, and play with to create your own classes that address where you are in your yoga.

Playing with the app makes me feel creative and that is fun on its own. I love that I can create a class that will give me all the benefit of working and finding balance, strength, and flexibility at my level of practice for today. And what's even better, I can relax into doing the exact yoga practice I want to do for today without needing to maintain the plan, if you see what I mean. I've already made the plan and programmed it into the app. So, while I'm doing the yoga, I get to breathe, and practice. That allows me to be present in my yoga, my body, and my thoughts in way that would be much harder if I had to stop and think of what asana to do next.

I believe that our yoga experience changes day-to-day just as our ability to do yoga changes day-to-day. There are days when I feel strong and capable and practice advanced asana with little trouble. And there are days that I step on that mat and I can barely do a downward dog (and this from someone who has practiced pretty much every day for twenty years). I bet this sort of variability in ability happens to everyone. We all go through high and low times in our practices, and heck in our lives. They key when this happens is not to judge ourselves. Where we are to day is where we are today.

My deal with myself is that I am required to step on the mat every, single day. If I then do a 45-minute practice, that is excellent. If all I can do is stand on the mat and take one deep breath, I am then allowed to step off the mat, roll it up, and move on with my day.

The key? I have no judgement about what I have done because it was what I could do today.

What an amazing thought! What revolutionary change occurs inside us when we don't judge ourselves harshly for not doing something we think we *should or are supposed to * do? I would love to measure how much energy we save when we stop berating ourselves for our choices? And if we save that worrying energy, where else might we use it? Could we use it to create? Could we use it to show a kindness to someone else since we have already been kind to ourselves? Could we free ourselves to think greater thoughts for that same amount of time we might have used to worry or fret? That potential for presence and truth is just there waiting to be utilized. To me, that means for that little while, the possibilities are limitless.

I have never just stood on the mat, breathed, and walked off it, but it feels great to know that I could. It allows me to feel my freedom in the larger scope of my life that I believe is vital to living in truth, honesty, and joy.

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