It’s an all too familiar conversation I was having with a young woman interested in coming to a yoga class, but she was intimidated because of her belief that she wasn’t flexible enough, and she wouldn’t know what to do.
Yoga is one of the few places where we are encouraged to drop all the preconceived notions of who we think we should be, and just be. Truth is, very few people come to yoga because they are already flexible, or balanced. We come to yoga to reconnect to that part of us that gets pushed aside by our busy lifestyles and our overstimulated minds. Thinking we can’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t really gets in the way of a happy and healthy life.
Earlier that same day I had seen this quote come across my Facebook feed: “Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” – Author Unknown*
The basic beauty of the quote is the call to practice being yourself, and being able to live the truth that is: there’s no one else on this entire planet who is like you! You are the most unique person alive! There never has been, and never will be another you like the one that is living here now. That’s the definition of unique: Being without like or equal. Even if you have a twin, there are some differences that will make you unique. Whether it’s how you dress, the words you use, or the path you chose to take in life.
Of course, we learn from one another. For example, in a yoga class the students listen to the teacher; and should the words not make sense, take look to those around on their mats to get guidance. But to expect that we have to do everything that is being offered, or look exactly like those practicing around us blocks the beauty of simply being yourself. Your true Self, which is spelled with the capitol letter Sto denote being higher than the ego self which is so often rooted (stuck) in fear.
Marianne Williamson has a beautiful quote in her book, A Return to Love, which addresses our deepest fear. However, while looking back for the quote, I stumbled upon this one which I feel simplifies the message even farther – a message that we have heard so many times (maybe even said to someone else), but are we brave enough to live within our own lives?
“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.”