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Progress over perfection

I wanted to write this blog for a long time. As someone who was highly competitive in the past and now simply tries to follow the eight limbs of yoga, I have a few things to say on this subject. During my younger years, I wanted to be the best volleyball player, have the perfect relationship, look absolutely amazing and generally speaking, I was aiming for perfection in everything I did.

I wanted the perfect timing, the perfect decisions and the perfect outcomes and nothing less. Of course, this would rarely happen as such is life. With time and yoga's help, I learnt to appreciate the process, the journey that would take me to my goal. And even that goal sometimes changed from its original form; it was all determined by the process! The process that in reality was progress.

Practising yoga has taught me to drop expectations and shift gears when needed. I have let go of the attachment to achieve perfection and to try so hard in my postures, just to admire myself in them and feel accomplished. The achievement in asanas will come at the right time and when I'm ready for them. I do attempt some of the more challenging poses and I do get annoyed when I don't nail them. This is exactly what brings me to practise swadyaya (personal observance) even more.

Headstand (sirsasana) progress

I prefer to bring all my awareness to my breath, the sensations and the feelings that appear while I am on my mat. I observe what's happening in my body and what the asanas make me realise about myself. I delve into self enquiry and discover more about myself every time I practise. Once I start enjoying it, the results come. Funny how this can sum up life too!

Embracing everything that comes my way is the biggest progress I can make. I may not be able to see it straight away as it is an ever evolving process, however with acceptance I keep understanding more about myself. Every time I think I have everything figured out, yoga is there to show me that I still have a lot to learn.

I don't have to wait for the perfect timing, the perfect relationship or the perfect outcome. The perfect timing is now because life is all about taking risks, failing and trying. The perfect relationship is the one I create with my partner or my friend, which has its ups and downs. And the perfect outcomes are the ones I am receiving every day which occasionally create uncertainty but make room for progress.

So let's enjoy our journeys every step of the way. Let's not forget that to truly feel a deeper sense of gratitude for our efforts, we should leave ourselves open for meaningful achievements. We can allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable and stay committed as this is the way to then enjoy the progress in our practice and our life.


New in-person class starting every Monday at 20.15 at YOUCA theatre in Chania, book here or contact me for more info as spaces are limited.

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