What about when I finally worked my flexibility up to get into full Hanumanasana (split)? A few weeks later, I injured my hamstring and still can't attempt to get into that pose again. I felt defeated and weak. All my hard work was wasted.
But no. You taught me that yoga isn't about achieving that difficult split, that powerful handstand, that picture-perfect asana. Yes, these wonderful shapes and strength come along with a daily practice, but really yoga means union. Union with the mind, body, and spirit. You said: If that handstand is the ultimate goal of my practice, there can be nothing but disappointment waiting for me on the other side.
Because once I achieve it, then what?
You taught me that when my body is at its best, to thank the universe and learn. And when I get injured and feel weak, to thank the universe and learn. It's time to work on those things I've been avoiding and putting aside. It's time to meditate and clear my mind, work on strengthening because I always take my natural flexibility for granted. Now I'm doing arm balances I convinced myself I was never going to be capable of doing.
Sure, these poses look really cool, but the real accomplishment is that my mind is so much stronger now, too. Why did I talk myself into the notion that I didn't have the strength to hold these intense postures? You taught me to silence that voice of inner doubt and conquer my mind; to know that I am capable of anything.
"When a child is learning to walk and falls down 50 times, he never thinks to himself, "maybe this isn't for me." You taught me how to have the incredible mind, ambition, and fearlessness of a young child.
Thank you for teaching me that it's OK to shatter a little and be broken. That's the only way I'll learn how to gracefully bend and be stunningly adaptable and malleable yet rooted, incredibly firm and strong.
Thank you for teaching me be fluid in my flow on the mat and apply that fluidity to the constant transformation and turbulence around me (and within me). To recognize and observe the seasons and energetic vibrations constantly changing and adjust myself accordingly, without giving away my unique and lovely roots.
"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion." Thank you for teaching me to take up all the space.