The Thread of Yoga
I have this one shirt. It's a favorite shirt, worn out in all the right places, but even when it was new I found a piece of thread dangling from the hem. I hesitated to pull or cut it because I feared it would damage the integrity of the shirt. Now when I feel the tickle of the thread I hesitate slapping it away as I would a mosquito. Instead I feel the thread, know that it's there on purpose, and see if I can relax into the perfect imperfectness of this shirt.
My yoga practice is a bit like that shirt...
For nearly 2 months, I have been away from home and practicing what I can when I can and where I can. The beautiful thing is that my practice is now 20 years old and with this long of a relationship comes a deep understanding. I know what practices to choose when I'm nervous about starting a new workshop or training (to be honest, I still get nervous at the start of every class I teach). I know how to "move the middle" to keep my digestion from being disrupted by travel. I know how to ground myself when I feel the effects of high altitude environment. And I am learning, day by day, how to relax into the perfect imperfectness of my practice.
My life is a bit like my practice...
This summer I did several things: taught a 30-hour yoga teacher training, offered a weekly series, spoke at a conference and published a book. I did all of these things perfectly imperfect. Of course my brain wants to stay focused on all the ways I could have done these things better, but when I catch myself following that train of thought I remind myself of the thread on the my beloved shirt. If I had pulled that thread when I first noticed it, I might not have it still.