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Accept Your Imperfections

In the Face of Distraction

Practicing yoga alone in the privacy of one’s one sacred space can be a wondrous experience. Private practice without an instructor’s guidance represents the true spirit of oneness, as the breath flows, the heart leads and the mind retreats. That is, until your mind interferes with thoughts of the day’s events, worries of tomorrow’s to-do list and the stubborn nature of all that chatter, refusing to be silent for one peaceful practice.

Recently, I was doing pretty well, easing my way into the practice and feeling the tensions of the day melt away as I happily retreated into solitude. But almost as soon as it began, my relaxed state came to an abrupt halt and I found myself in quite the quandary. As I floated through my Sun Salutations, I suddenly realized I was repeating Warrior Pose on the same leg as the previous sequence.

I immediately felt out of balance. My mind raced, considering the options for moving through the rest of the sequence. I could repeat the mistake on the other side, to make up for the left side’s time in the spotlight one minute before. But, I asked myself, “Would seeking balance on my right side create a second wrong-doing?  Or would it create a steady and even foundation for my standing vinyasa?” More importantly, why was I thinking so much? Why couldn’t I switch off my mind? I heard my mother’s words ringing through my ears. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

I just had to let it go. Forgiving myself for my wandering mind, I picked up where I had left off. Letting go of the past, and not worrying about the future, I simply focused on the moment. Sure, for a moment, I was out of whack. But what did it matter now that I was back in alignment?

Many of us hold ourselves to standards of perfection. Letting go and accepting limitations is just as important as pushing towards new goals. Next time you feel out of balance, take a moment to reflect on how you got there and accept your actions. Only then will you be able to return to the present, and move forward with conviction.

Amy Bevan
Freelance Writer, Local Reporter, Host of The PranaMama
Contributor to ChildLight Yoga and The Kids Yoga Resource
Recommended Read: Ashtanga Yoga by David Swenson


Lisa Flynn commented on 07-Jun-2010 08:38 AM5 out of 5 stars

What a poignant post - being in the moment is truly the biggest gift of all. Those of us perfectionists are grateful to yoga for allowing the inner critic to pipe down, so that our most true selves can come bubbling up to the surface. Your simple example is a conversation that happens in my own head hundreds of times a day. The greatest gift of yoga is that it teaches us to recognize the debate, then promptly let it go. Thank you for putting this into words!

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