I felt like I should confess for not taking a yoga class for a while. You know, “Forgive me yoga instructor, for I have sinned….” (and please forgive me if I offend you with my reference). It had been over a week, maybe two, since I’d stepped into the studio and onto my mat. I felt like I’d committed a sin of omission.
I’d had my excuses. I had been away. And busy. And I had been on my mat, albeit with an online version from my yoga instructor, but I still felt guilty.
Then I realized that no one would know, and honestly, no one would care. It didn’t matter to anyone, except to me, how often I practiced yoga. (Well, maybe to my family members who live with me, because I’m probably a whole lot nicer when I practice.) There was nothing to confess to, and no one to confess to.
I moved through the class and kept reminding myself that no one knew and no one cared…and then we transitioned into our standing balance poses, and I kept falling down. Tree pose. Lost my balance. Eagle pose. Lost my balance. Warrior three. Lost my balance.
At first I heard the internal voices pushing me forward and attacking me for my “poor yoga.” I felt myself cringe as I thought about what the other students would think of me. Then I had to laugh. The world doesn’t revolve around me, as much as I might think it does at times. And certainly the other students’ yoga practices didn’t revolve around me. They probably weren’t even aware that I was falling, or even that I was there.
It was simply a day of little to no balance for me – maybe because I hadn’t practiced yoga in a while, maybe because my mind was wandering, maybe because of no reason at all. Whatever way you looked at it, I couldn’t seem to stand on one leg…and that didn’t have to matter to anyone, not even me.
I laughed as I wobbled and fell again and again. I smiled inwardly, and outwardly, as I tumbled forward and sideways. And I realized…
- My falling didn’t matter. I was still there. I was still mindful. I was still practicing.
- Again, no one noticed. No one cared. No one judged me…except me. And I could change that at any moment.
- My lack of physical balance could reflect my lack of spiritual or emotional balance. Or it could not. It didn’t really matter.
Years ago my memoir was titled, “My life is a series of interrupted yoga sessions” – with the concept that, especially as a new mother, any amount of yoga and any level of yoga I managed to practice was a good thing. A great thing in fact. That if my practice was only five minutes long before it was interrupted by my young children (running cars up and down my body, or crawling under my bridge pose), it was still a yoga practice and I could still feel proud that I had practiced at all. I guess the same holds true now.
It doesn’t have to matter if I can’t balance. Physically or metaphorically. It doesn’t have to matter if it’s a few weeks between yoga practices. Or between anything for that matter. It doesn’t have to matter at all. As always, what I’m doing is enough and where I am is fine.
And I can laugh when and as I fall down.
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