Inside Yoga 234 (14/5/2018)
Many of us want everything to be perfect, or I dare say, all of us want things to be perfect, but life isn’t like this. We strive and we aim for perfection but just feel unable to achieve it or if it happens it does not last.
As we practice it becomes clear that yoga is not exempt from this fact of life, that however hard we pursue perfection it always seems beyond us, yet we continue. I see yoga practice as a reflection of life in general, because how we approach our practice teaches us a lot about how we can approach our life.
We can learn a lot from our relationship with our own practice if look at it with an open mind. The well-trodden paths of sayings and expressions like, “the journey is more important than the destination” has plenty of validity and poignancy here, because it is simply true. Look at our life and see it as one long journey and realise that as much as seek the perfect life, it has plenty of imperfections along the way which test us, challenge us and upset us, yet we carry on, pretty much as the saying goes we are not thinking of the end, just getting through the day, and hoping to reach the weekend without anything major going wrong!
Likewise, we might not feel our practice is perfect but each time we on our yoga mat we aim to do as well as we can, by focussing and seeking to achieve the perfect posture, and if it doesn’t go so well one day we move on, and avoid getting stuck in the why’s and what’s of what could have been better. There’s always the next session of practice. There’s always another day.
Yet we try our best, and that is what is important, because it is the labour that we put in which can derive the best benefits more than the goals being reached. When we practice we do our best, it might be difficult, we might feel distracted at times, but we keep trying again and again to focus and practice. Notice then at the end we feel better in our personal sense of well-being than we did at the beginning whatever happened en route. The practice has done its job of ridding ourselves of unwanted distractedness and negativity, leaving us feeling calmer, clearer and generally more content.
As the saying goes, “life’s too short”. In fact, it is the imperfection of everything that makes it all so perfect, because pure perfection would soon become tedious and dull for us, because life is not like that.
What is important is that we strive for the perfection in everything knowing the goal might not be attained but life is better for it, because moving towards something better is always better than simply giving up and thinking “it’s all crap, why bother?”.
And that’s why I say our practice is our support to see and understand these thoughts and patterns in our life, because it supports us and helps carry us through these wobbles in confidence and well-being which do assail us from time to time.
Life might offer the idea of perfection but as long as we understand it’s an illusion and we learn to work with it as an idea, and not a reality, then our life can feel much more perfect in its imperfection.
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