” “Now! Now!” cried the Queen. “Faster! Faster!” And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground breathless and giddy. […] Alice looked round her in great surprise. “Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time!” ” Lewis Carroll, Through the looking Glass.
Sounds familiar? Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you are working on something, you are in a static place and not making any progress?
That’s where I am today, almost finishing a 10 months yoga teacher training, and it’s been a few days that I am in this phase. Static, no progress, and some bugs inside my head are just pointing their tiny fingers on all the things I still cannot do.
Surely it’s a “phase” and it will pass, but aren’t we great at criticizing? Comparing? And yes, judging! Rationalizing becomes very hard, all we have to do is LET GO! I am writing this post because sometimes we need to remind ourselves to enjoy the ride, have a walk instead of running, take in the scenery around and just breathe! No matter what skill you are learning, some days are just going to feel like a deep whole with no light. Try to pause and take a few steps back, you might notice your progress. You just need to let go, broaden your view and be a little more objective.
You might think now, “well, it is one thing to say and another thing to actually do it!” Welcome to the group! You see, as the time of my exams is getting closer, the critic in my head is starting to panic and getting more and more judgmental and attached to a fantasy I created to myself at the beginning of the training: perfection of alignment, great teaching skills, stronger balance, etc. For me, 10 months of training seemed like quite a long time, but as time is narrowing down, I notice that I am still far from harvesting any of the seeds I planted at the beginning of the journey. As a matter of fact, I can hardly see the buds. Lately, I am finding it so hard to get on the mat and enjoy my practice without criticizing or judging myself. I end up doing a random practice to try and prove to myself that I am capable of achieving this or that, at the end I get frustrated and tired of the mat.
It’s good to have goals as motivation, but when they begin to manifest as threats and critics we need to let them go and re-question why we are here, why we are doing this or that training? Why we keep practising? Find a new motivation! Yes, we are our best critic, but we are also our best cheerleader! Only you know where you are headed.
Sometimes, I find the need to remind myself that I am doing the training to become a yoga teacher! Surely along the way I deepen my knowledge about asana and different aspects of yoga, but I am not here to become an asana performer or an athlete, I am here to become a teacher and share my knowledge. What brought me to yoga practice in the first place wasn’t the achievements, but the experience, being on the mat and meditating through movement. Reconnecting with my breath, with my body and with my soul. And that’s what I want to share, the experience, the journey, the moment.
What is pulling you down? How can you let it go?
We all have a long way to go, let’s try to enjoy the ride.