Do you ever get frustrated with yourself, because you are not doing something ‘perfect’?
Our outcome driven society, has us conditioned to do and be the best that we can at all times….
I don’t know about you, but I find this exhausting!
And it is so easy to bring this outcome, result driven focus into our yoga practice.
So, when sitting down to start a regular yoga blog post, I thought, where shall we start…
Why not at the start… Accepting where you are at! Yoga, after all, is about being here, and accepting, and progressing…. Not about being a superstar yogi day 1 (or even day 2190 – yep I’m six years into an on and off relationship with yoga!). But now we are committed 🙂
So here are my top 3 tips with focusing on progress (and not perfection!) when it comes to, not only yoga, but life…
This present moment, is the only thing that really exists, and by focusing on the past or future is what leads us to depression and anxiety (respectively). So when the thoughts come in, return to the breath and feel into the body. Use all the senses to be aware of the here and now.
A great tip I find helps, is that if my mind is extra distracted by thoughts, I count to 100, and each time a thought comes in, I make myself aware of it (‘oh I am having a thought’) and then I start back at 1 again (yep some days I feel like I am at 1 for the whole session, other times I get to…. 10 ;))
The next step, following awareness, is acceptance. Accept that the mind is conditioned to think, in particularly, to think negative. I love the brain bully technique:
Turn your negative self talk (I can’t do the pose like she can, why isn’t my body like hers, why is my mind wandering so much) into what you want. Use the statement: I notice I’m getting better at… (desire) ‘Accepting where my body is’. This helps to trick the mind until you are ready to say I am a yoga master ;), because maybe right now, you may not be convinced of that.
And last but not least…
The universe/God (whatever your belief around a higher power is) rewards us with more of the good stuff when we are in a joyful, playful state. So take your yoga practise, but don’t take yourself too seriously! Laugh, joke, wrestle and roll around on the ground. Bring that child like energy to the forefront.
So email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write in the comments below, how do you focus on progress and not perfection? What do you find challenging? And going forward how will you focus on progress?