You’d think I’d be as clear and as calm as a Hindu cow with all the yoga I’ve been practicing lately, but instead here’s this anxiety riding, self-obliterating person who has been a complete asshole –mainly to herself.
The past few months have resulted in an over-stressed, over-committed, ambivalent being that has been focusing far too much on everything that’s wrong rather all that is perfect and right.
Then something happened. I was in class trying to get into virasana pose (this pose is also an asshole), visibly getting frustrated as I moved props under my knees and still felt too much pressure. I shifted back into baddha konasana and watched everyone else meditate in perfect virasanas. Then judgment: I was yelling at my knees in my head then wondering how on earth is every goddamned person in this room in this pose? It’s not like I see each of them in class week after week or day after day in the studio…
By the third pose my teacher took a moment to come up to me and look me in the eye. She said, “I need you to practice compassion for yourself today. I need you to be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself.” She touched my solar plexus area before saying, “You’re beautiful.”
I kept my composure and kept nodding my head up until the “you’re beautiful” part, at which point I started crying and proceeded to cry throughout every subsequent pose in class.
In yoga they say that one goes through the process of self discovery that sometimes is not always smooth sailing. This process is called Dukkha.
The only way out is through.
In the Heart of Yoga by T. K. V. Desikachar it says, “Someone who is searching for clarity always sees more suffering than someone who is not. The awareness of suffering results from greater sensitivity. The person who is not searching for clarity does not even know what brings him happiness or sorrow.”
Desikachar says that “through the insightful percept of problems and confusions we move toward clarity.”
When people wonder why I continue to practice yoga and want to teach it I say this: I’m not there yet, but I feel more like myself than I’ve felt in a really long time. This clarity, while not always pretty – is worth it all to me. This same clarity is what keeps propelling me further into living purposefully, fearlessly, transparently and BOLDLY. I’m not afraid of myself anymore and perhaps I’m not sold on believing that I’m beautiful yet, but I’m getting there.
As my other teacher always says: slowly, slowly. It just takes practice.