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Embracing imperfection

Yoga is often portrayed as a serene, effortless practice, with practitioners gracefully flowing with ease through sequences like poetry in motion. However, many of us feel quite differently. We struggle, we feel tight, some postures seem completely impossible sometimes we even fall out of postures onto our mats. And accepting that this is normal and ok, is a challenge for us.



For many of us stepping onto the yoga mat can be an intimidating experience, especially when social media shows us seemingly perfect practitioners effortlessly contorting their bodies into shapes, The "standard yoga-body" that we see online, has a certain shape look and ability. The yoga presence on social media does not include a variety of body-types and abilities. Thus it's easy to listen to the call of the inner critic which tells us that we aren't good enough, strong enough or flexible enough to practice yoga.





Yoga isn't about being perfect according to an external standard, it's about showing up, exactly as you are, and meeting yourself with kindness and compassion, because yoga is more about the mind than it is about the body. As Patanjali states early in the yoga sutras:

 

“yogas chitta vritti nirodha” (YS 1.2) - Yoga is the stilling of mental fluctuations

 

Modern yoga and wellness trades on you feeling shame and self-criticism about your body and abilities in order to keep the multi-billion dollar industry afloat. What if we challenged that with the understanding about yoga really is all about... and that is showing up with radical acceptance of who and what you are as we work towards a still and peaceful mind.


The Beauty of Imperfection:


Yoga is a practice of self-discovery and self-awareness. It's about exploring the edge of our bodies and minds, pushing to our personal limits, and embracing the process, regardless of the outcome. So what if your Triangle doesn't look like the one on Instagram? So what if you can't touch your toes (yet)? The only thing that truly matters is that you're there at that moment, practicing.


Embrace the Journey:


Your journey is unique to you, and there is no "right" or "wrong" way to practice yoga. Choose options for asana that help you feel safe, and steady. Reach for your edge when you practice and challenge yourself appropriately. Focus on relaxation and release of the patterns and tension you are holding on to. Celebrate the parts of your practice that work for you instead of focusing on what social media tells you that you need to do. Honor the wisdom and knowing of your body and mind. Celebrate the progress you've made, no matter how small. And most importantly, celebrate yourself, exactly as you are, in your sacred body.Reflect on our own yoga journey. Let's release the need for external validation or perfection and instead embrace the beauty of the journey. Let's show up, exactly as we are, and allow ourselves to be seen, wobbles and all. May your practice be filled with grace, gratitude, and self-love.


xo Aarti

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