I was recently asked by a new acquaintance at a party whether being a yoga teacher meant that I was ‘really good at yoga’. To be honest, trying to respond left me fumbling over words and trying to find a response that was both simple (I didn’t feel it was the appropriate setting to launch into a yoga philosophy rant) and honest. At the time, I managed to get out some vague response how “it wasn’t really about that, but yes, I can get myself into some pretty interesting poses”, but it really got me thinking about whether people can actually be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at yoga?
If you’ve ever practiced yoga you’ll know that some days you feel good, sometimes you’ll feel bad, and in the same class some you’ll nail some poses and DEFINITELY not nail others (haha!). So how do we know if our yoga as good or bad? My favourite teacher is a strong believer that the poses we practice are not important – their original purpose was to enable the body to enter full lotus pose, in which yogis would sit and meditate for hours on end (ouch!). While most of us these days view yoga a little differently, if we compare the modern yoga class, isn’t our practice really about getting to savasana at the end?
Thankfully for me I can nail my savasana alignment (as I’m sure you can too) which means, that if savasana is the benchmark, no one is actually good at yoga, and no one can ever be bad! Allowing yourself to realise that no one is good at yoga is liberating – no matter how much of a hot-mess your warrior 2 is you’re still completely rocking it! Allowing yourself to let go of the need to be good at yoga (and in life!) means that you can actually enjoy yourself and your practice. You don’t ever have to stand on your head or get your leg behind your shoulder to be the most amazing yogi in the room. So go forth and yoga, knowing that you are already perfect, you are already as good as you are ever going to be, and at the end of the day, it’s what’s going on inside (not out) that matters most.