Yoga’s Not a Race

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September 17, 2011 by Darlene McC

It’s a catch 22:

It's easy to fit practice in on vacation.

when you’re going through serious changes in life that are hard to process and deal with you have less time and patience for yoga.  When you try to meditate your mind races; and if you do manage to hit the mat you shove yourself through every posture, straining and making yourself a bit more miserable.  A few weeks ago I let an over-enthusiastic teacher talk me into trying some postures I knew I wasn’t ready for and ended up bawling (and completely embarrassed) in my frustration.

Today I approached the mat with an unintended and unexpected lightness: gliding in and out of a simple flow and focused on alignment and not giving myself more than I could handle.  About half way through the 20 minute session a little something hit me: Up until now I’ve been treating yoga like I have every other athletic pursuit I’ve ever made.  Yoga as conquest; always something to beat or run down, tackling a difficult posture whatever way necessary.  Yoga is not basketball.  Or rugby; or even one of the gentler pursuits like volleyball.  And if yoga is not a sport than perhaps I should approach it will less of a conquistador’s frame of mind.

The only prizes I approach the mat to win is a deeper piece of mind, greater sense of self, and the offering of each asana to my greatest potential self.

Monkey Yoga

Monkey Yoga

…that’s probably enough touchy-feely for today, huh?

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