In my morning yoga class the other day, I looked around to see if I was doing a pose “correctly.” As I work on my yoga practice, I often struggle with making sure I’m doing things “right” — if my pose matches the one of the person on the next mat. But yesterday, it struck me. Why was I trying to make my body—my own, unique, individual body—do the EXACT same thing as the body next to me? Yes, we were both aiming to arrive in the same pose, but our bodies, the shape, the size, the experiences, the sensations—were different. And, I thought, how do I know this body next to me is even doing it “right” (let alone “right” for me)?
And, as so often happens—I realized this lesson extended much beyond my mat, or the studio. This really was a life lesson. How often do we look around in moments of uncertainty, to see how others are doing it? How often to we try to make our lives match up with what we see around us, regardless of how obvious it is that we are not meant to bend and stretch at that exact angle, to follow that path, to dream that dream?
In yoga classes, the instructor reminds you to do what you can with the body you came in with, to modify as needed and to push yourself but to know your limits. I think this same thing applies to life: let’s stopping look to what others are doing to ensure we’re doing it “right”, let’s follow our own paths when they feel right, let’s push our limits but know our own boundaries.