I experience something different every time I step on my mat. On my "best" days I can breathe freely, twist like a pretzel, spring up into handstands and find my mantra for meditation. I’ll end with a savasana more satisfying than a 24 layer chocolate cake (which IS worth the calories!)
On my worst days, I don’t have the energy to salute the sun. I feel as flexible as granite and my plank pose looks more like dhanurasana than anything else. Perhaps worst of all, I check the clock–multiple times.
The fluctuations in my practice have taught me an incredibly important lesson: There is no such thing as a “perfect” practice. The only thing “perfect” about yoga is the opportunity it presents – the opportunity to be present and honor that place within all of us which is of love, truth and peace. Easier said than done? Maybe. But believe me, I am trying.
Here are ten quotes I refer back to for inspiration on those most difficult days:
1. "If you want the rainbow, then you must have the rain." ~Annette Hanshaw
2. "You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state." ~ Sharon Gannon
3. "Remember, it doesn’t matter how deep into a posture you go – what does matter is who you are when you get there." ~ Max Strom
4. "You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?" ~ Rumi
5. "Yoga is almost like music in a way; there's no end to it." ~ Sting
6. "If I'm losing balance in a pose, I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me. It works every time, and not just in yoga." ~Terri Guillemets
7. "In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher." ~ Dalai Lama
8. "When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky." ~Buddha
9. "Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success." ~ Svatmarama
10. "If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete." ~ Jack Kornfield
And of course, we can never forget what Nike teaches us...."Just do it."