I usually don’t talk that much about my yoga practice –
– if you consider 90 minutes of sweaty Bikram yoga once per week a “practice” – but something I saw in class recently has stuck in my head since.
It was a poster that simply said something like: “Be the best you can be today.”
One of my favorite instructors repeats this phrase during class too, and whenever she says it, I feel some sort of pressure lifted from my shoulders. Being a hardcore perfectionist, I go into each Sunday afternoon class wanting to nail each of the 26 Bikram postures, not fall out of them and execute perfectly. If I stagger, wobble or need to check my balance, I feel almost like I’ve failed and the class was a waste.
But what fun is yoga, or anything really, if you’re so hung up on being perfect and getting frustrated by tiny little mistakes? By worrying about getting my poses just right and beating myself up about it throughout the class if I didn’t, I had been missing out on the simple joy of yoga.
Both physically and mentally challenging, Bikram yoga gives me such a sense of calm and happiness when I let it. And when I think about it, this calm, meditative state comes over me whether I’ve nailed every pose or wobbled and stumbled my way through the entire class.
So I’ve been trying to take this mantra – to be the best I can today – with me not just in yoga class, but outside as well. Because like the simple joys of yoga, being a perfectionist crazy person tends to cause me to miss out on some things in life too.
Very slowly, I’m realizing that being the best I can on this day is what really matters, helps me adapt to whatever the day brings and takes the pressure off of wanting everything to be perfect all the time.
Like running, I love that yoga teaches us things about ourselves that we can take with us and actually make our lives better.
Time for a quick breakfast and it’s off to work. Happy Friday, all!
Question: Are you a yogi? And, how do you deal with perfectionist tendencies?