Practice is not about being perfect. It’s about being you.

May 23, 2013 | Being a writer, Health, Mindfulness Meditation, Wisdom, Yoga practices, Yoga teaching  | 0 comments

MatKathy Cooper Yoga Mats via Pinterest

I’ve uncovered a new offence that I’m capable of. I’m calling it creation-envy. What occurs for me when I hear of a great idea or turn of phrase is that I find myself wishing I’d thought of it or said it first.
Occasionally, I’ll hear another yoga teacher say something in class that is so perfectly verbalised that I just have to ‘borrow’ it. I think that Jon Kabat-Zinn of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine speaks like an angel on his meditation recordings, and his words drop right into my heart, completely bypassing my head.
Today I came across an excerpt from a book called Teaching People, Not Poses: 12 Principles for Teaching Yoga With Integrity. The author, Jay Fields, sums up the way I aspire to teach so succinctly and well that I wished I’d written the book.
Interestingly, Jay says that other people than yoga teachers are finding her book useful. Well, why wouldn’t they? Yoga students would think words like these are reassuring:

Practice is not about being perfect. It’s about being yourself. It’s about getting past your lines of defense to find the soft, chewy, sweet center.

Almost as much as I love teaching and practising yoga, I love inspiring students to do home practice.
My spirit soars when I hear that someone has become turned on enough to buy a yoga mat, remembered the postures they’ve learned in class, and even begun to bend the practices so that they make a good fit for their individual lifestyle.
Some people are discouraged from doing home practice because they feel they don’t know enough. But even knowing a little and applying it is helpful because the truth is that there will be never be an end to learning more about yoga.
If you don’t have a deep groove of yoga practice established as yet, just be kind to yourself, and keep coming back to your mat when you can.
It helps to remember the magic moments that yoga practice creates, whether you’re in classes or at home. When you tap into these experiences, you become more and more enrolled in doing practice – even when you’ve been doing it for years.
If you are a somewhat diffident practitioner or a beginner, we’ve created the YogaAnywhere practice sets to provide a basic, but structured guide on how to do 10 or 20 initial poses, plus suggestions and encouragement along the way. They were created to inspire people to get started – and to keep going. You’ll never know where you’ll end up 🙂


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