We often hear the phrase… Practice makes perfect. And on and on, we engage ourselves in this obsessive battle of making it come out superbly flawless. Whether this desire we are working on is our speed running time, or hiking our bike up a steep hill, or coming to the full expression of a yoga pose, or completing a work report where all possible data needed is in it.
When is it perfect enough?
Do we go on and on at each detail? Do we try to dissect each detail further?
The answer to the Do-questions… is YeS!
The answer to the When-question… is NoW.
I was at a workshop this afternoon for Arm Balances and Inversions. I have hiccups happening with these yoga poses. There are on and off days depending on how tight my hamstrings are leading to my hips, to my lower back. It has been a looong-overdue-needing-therapy issue that I have delayed, self-diagnosing myself, and letting the rest of my body compensate. I’d pop my left knee so many times within a day to release the pull in my hamstrings. I even have to stop in the highway, winter or not, to pop it because it gets so ridiculously tight while I’m sitting for a long time. And recently, my right hamstrings are wanting attention as well.
But I have receded to the idea I can cure myself and have began seeing my chiropractor, a professional to deal with my issue with a sign of hope I will get better. He said so. I trust him and not the Doctor Maia in me.
So to attend such a workshop is a tad challenging. Though we prepped for the poses, loosening and opening the whole body, it still presented as a difficulty for some of the poses. Some proved fluidly easy; while some caused falling ungracefully down to my mat. I didn’t stop trying… and they all heard me pop my knee every so often.
The wondrous thing about attending yoga workshops is though I have gone through teacher-training, there are always new things to learn, as long as we are open to the ideas, tips, and suggestions given to you. The variety of instructors gives us other paths to dip our toes into. This is where the Do-questions come in.
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” ~ Vince Lombardi
Too many times we get into the routine of how we polish our goals, our ideals, our challenges. And too many times, too, we get so engrossed with just doing it, thinking the more we do it, the better we get… … it is not so. While there may be those odd chances of getting it seemingly right (or what you think is right), try and ask yourself: Did I actually go through it the proper way? Had fun doing it that way? Did I breathe into it savouring the pathway? Pause, if needed be? Or am I just in a hurry to get there?
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The life of a YouR yoga pose inversions is in the journey; not having your feet up in the air. Noting the tips and suggestions, allow each step of progressing into an inversion be sensed and felt by your body, by each body part involved in the pose. Focusing on these sensations gives you the opportunity to realize what it actually does to help you get there, to have your feet, toes painted and all, up towards the sky!
And when we keep falling, it answers the When-question. NoW is the time to realize we are where we need to be at that pose. Not because of one workshop doesn’t mean we can do it right away. It only means we do it again next time, keeping in mind what we have learned from it, and simply listening to what our bodies are screaming at us.
Driving on the way home, I was still trying to run over my stubborn head why I failed on some of the poses. It nearly frustrated me and I blamed my body, my stupid hamstrings.
That was it.
When I got home, I played one more Sirsasana. Bound Sirsasana. Nuh-uh. After that drive, the hamstrings won’t even level my hips. I thought… I need more support. I remembered some of the students in the workshop… I remembered my instructor, Sam Manchulenko… Tripod Sirsasana.
And ding! ding! ding!
My painted toe nails are up in the air!
It is in using the tools given, shown, shared during the workshop and adapting them from my teacher-training know-how. This is where I need to be right NoW. This is where my body is telling me what I can do NoW.
It’s perfect practice that makes perfect.
And that is awesomely perfect enough!
Thank you, Sam…