What if everything we do is a practice? A practice of connection, alignment, and balancing effort with ease? What if what we achieve is secondary to what we practice?
I know… My hair goes up on my neck just a bit with that thought. Perhaps we can just consider. On the yoga mat (which for me is my little self experimenting petri-dish of observation and reflection), we strive to twist, bend, hold all the while breathing with ease. (Sometimes a hilarious endeavor). And secretly, because we are all human, we get this little burst of inner sparkle when we nail that elusive pose or touch our forehead to our knees.
Yes, we know this means nothing about anything, but still, achievement is instant gratification. And thus, even though we may not utter the words aloud (because we are much more evolved than that), we sometimes see the pinnacle of our practice as achievement. In fact, teachers even fuel this by referring to “the peak pose.” So, we strive to balance on a single finger or smugly look at the Hanover Pretzel Knot and think, “You ain’t got nothin’ on me.” Like bendiness that would turn Gumby greener with Envy will profoundly alter our impact in the world and the intimacy of our connections. Like maintaining pranayama for 60 minutes will cause unicorns to burst out of our chakras and radiate our auric field into a prism of color.
Sounds hilarious, I know. And take a moment and consider how this plays out in life off the mat. How has continuous striving impacted you?
And so every yoga class asks us to “end” with savasana. Deep rest to balance to the exertion, yes. But for me, to remind us that it is in the letting go that we come home. There is no alignment of muscles, bones, and joints. We simply let go of it all.
We allow the nothingness of the pose to peel away the expectations that we have of ourselves, the roles we play, and the desire to strive. Until what remains is just essence. The essence of who we are at our core; our divine spark that exists with and without achievement. Always enough.
So whether you spend time on a yoga mat or not, practice savasana. Alive, Awake, Present. Untethering, Surrendering, and Opening. Deep & Divine.