Striving to Accept Imperfection
I was staring at my feet in rag-doll pose. My hamstrings were tight and my head felt heavy as a brick. I let me shoulder relax into the stretch, igniting my nervous and calming my body and mind down all at the same time.
I had been nervous all class. The instructor was pretty intense and hands-on, which was both exciting and intimidating at the same time. I felt fingers at the base of my neck and noticed how my shoulder slunk a bit lower as the pressure worked up to my hair line and pawed at my skull.
My peace fingers slipped under my feet like a gorilla, and my hips bowed to the front of the roof as I folder over like a flimsy, winter glove. The windows look frosted as condensation masked the view out onto Mass Ave., and I tried to think of what my breath looked like in form as it pillowed out around me in a large sigh.
In these asanas, I was able to practice pranayama, the movement of breath through the body, working towards meditations in all yoga postures. So-as yogis say-I’ve been working on myself. Not just self respect, truth, and contentment, but also the acknowledgement of all of who I am — the layers in which each human is raveled up in: mind, intelligence, body, and soul. It’s been hard, that’s for sure. The practice of yoga off the mat is most difficult. If you’ve ever tried to hold your breath under water and panicked as you felt the weightless of water surround your body without air to breath, well- that’s how I’ve felt about yoga in a heated room. My body and mind are so distant from one another, its difficult to zip them together again, and reciprocate energy between them. I’ve never felt so de-tached from my self before yoga, before beginning this type of zipping up practice, re-connection with the inner self.
I’ve begun teach training now, and I’ve been focused on my niyama of truth, being honest with myself and others, and practicing self-respect, which are intertwined together. You can’t love others without loving yourself first, and so it begins. From great loves gone sour to the extremities of twist in eagle pose, I’ve been working to relieve all these negative energies and toxins from myself and rejuvenate in order to reconnect with myself, my authentic self. I’ve never actually met her, but I think I’m going to.
Everyday is different. Sometimes my heart aches, and I allow myself to be sad. I’m only human. Other days I feel empowered, and eerily calm about the entirety of stressful situations. I can then sink a bit more into chair pose, arms reach up into the sky, tailbone tucked, and the four corners of my feet rooting into the earth like flower roots; the 8 petals of yoga feeling closer to my fingertips than ever that I can almost smell them as I engulf and pull my senses into my body, and into my soul.
Satya is truth in Sanscrit. It is one of the niyamas, or disciplines of the practice of yoga.The truth, the union of mind, body, and soul, a brick in the path to enlightenment, or union between ego and inner self, is a challenge for me in particular. I’ve been lying to myself and others — so focused on who I want to be, all the pieces of me being thrown and scattered carelessly all over the earth and through time. I’ve given too much of myself to others, and not enough to the ones I love — and have forgotten how to love myself. I seek to sweat out the self-hate and lies I’ve told, the silly untruths that make up this persona that I’m not.
What I’ve learned from meditative practice in yoga, and reflecting inward, is that truth does not change, it is constant. Truth holds a vantage point, an unwavering balance and sense of peace. White lies and little lies we think don’t matter, matter. I’ve sought to be a person by comparing myself to others and then projecting pieces of this image on my parents, family, and friends. This unhealthy habit has led to the loss of my inner me, and has taken a lot of practice to re-birth.
I envy people that are honest, so comfortable in their own skin it’s like they’re swimming in it. I’ve wanted that so badly and gone about it the wrong way. Little lies and non-lying— it makes me feel inadequate, lost, and small. No more pushing myself on others. No more feeding into my peers by pulling away from who I am at the core.
My little nugget of knowledge is: We all inflate ourselves. We all project ourselves. We play a variety of roles to please and to trick people into seeing what we want them to see. We also fool ourselves. We embellish the truth, we claw and rip apart what is needed to be free and truly ourselves — satya. I’ve lied about relationships, I’ve brushed over the truth story to hide the pain, and I’ve pushed myself on others to fit in, to gain that sense of belonging.
The truth of it all is: we don’t have to hide from ourselves and cover up like blankets over legs and band-aids over wounds. We, by nature as humans, are imperfect. We are striving for that brevity to be seen as our true selves, our authentic selves, to not envy or boast or looks down on ourselves. To be bare and bones. We are striving to accept our imperfections. To be our authentic selves. You see, the practice of yoga is working towards shedding these layers of non-truths and the negativity from our lives and find ourselves again, forgiving the body and mind, and holding ourselves up, tadasana, for all to see.
Share and grow, share and grow. Tree pose.