I hear this all the time: "Am I too fat to ... ?" The rest has lots of variety: to do yoga, to stand on my hands, to go for a hike, climb up a rock, or fly into happy cartwheels on the beach.
There are other versions, too. Am I too short, too tall, too big or too small, are my arms too long, are my legs different lengths, or do I just need to do a whole lot of sit-ups before I even try?
No matter how much self-deprecating humor tags along, this one always hurts. And for all of it, long before the sentence ends, the answer is the same:
That's it. Just no. "But should I wait until ... ?" No. Right now. Do it right now.
But wait a second. What if the question is, "Am I too short to play professional basketball? I'm 5'2"! Isn't it just how it is — that I'm limited by my physical reality?" No. Here's why:
We are limited, and created, by the life we live. Life moves how we move.
It's not your body that limits you. It's not your body that defines what you can and cannot do. The limiting, and the creating, has already happened, is still happening right now, and will keep happening every day after today.
It's how you live each moment in each day that creates your reality at this moment. And all of those right nows add up to your life. Will this get you to slam dunk on Michael Jordan? Maybe not. Can you do some pretty crazy amazing things with a basketball if that's the life you live? Definitely.
Let's look at this. I see people of all shapes and sizes who are completely sure their shape and size isn't the right one. Even when people have the kind of shape that just finished an Ironman, they can still think this!
It's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking what we are isn't enough to do the things we want to do. But it's never true!
It's almost always: are you comfortable in your own body? What has happened up until now to get you comfortable, to get you to be a super-happy, world-leading expert on how to work with everything you've got? Or, what has happened up until now to make you not so comfortable, and maybe disconnected from all this amazing stuff you have?
Here's the good news. You can connect into your own amazing, right here, right now.
1. Get to know what you have.
Explore you — up, down, left, right and every which way — and become super comfortable with everything you've got.
2. Believe you can do it using what you already have.
When you figure out what you are, what you've got, belief happens.
If you've got these two steps down, then you know you're enough to do everything there is to do, from right where you are. Whatever it is you need, you can build it. You have what it takes: this wonderful, astonishing, amazing human body.
That's pretty far along the way there. The rest is fine-tuning, and I know you can do it.
So how do we get into this fine tuning? It can be yoga. It can be pretty much anything you do. Really, it's everything you do. Our bodies respond well to what we do all day, every day for both good and bad. So what we do is important! It's extremely powerful.
Here are three steps that you can take in yoga, or for anything else, to get your body and mind tuned happily into a whole lot of "I've got it!"
1. Know that right where you are, right now, is the perfect place for you to be.
There's really no such thing as too big or too small, arms too short or legs too long!! I hear all of these things, and it's just never true. We all get to go where we're going from right from where we are. It happens right here!
2. Drop the idea of getting into "correct" poses.
Don't worry so much about the poses. Breathe, feel, and get into you. You don't want your body to look like my body, or her body, or his body over there. We all have different bodies, and that's good.
The best thing you can ever do is get to know your body, right where you are, every single day. So there isn't a correct way to look in a pose. There's your way: you feeling and getting into you. That's where all the good stuff is.
3. If something doesn't feel good, don't do it!
Find another way. There's always a way to do what you need to do in your body, in a way that makes sense and feels good in you. This doesn't mean do nothing, and it's very far from being lazy! This means giving yourself the freedom to move and explore all around everything you do.
Rather than pushing hard against hard poses, keep moving easily all around where it's easy for you to move, and watch that easygoing territory gradually get bigger and bigger. Rather than believe you have to struggle to get anywhere good, believe that you can get to the best places there are by feeling good right now.
Knowing it's about belief and getting comfortable in our selves, with no limits? That's just plain fun, and leads to all kinds of good things. Believe in you, have fun in you, right now.
Want to get practicing? OK let's go!