It’s so easy for me to see what I can’t do. I can’t run a marathon. I can barely run a 5k right now. I can’t do crow pose in yoga class. I can’t do a handstand. I don’t have the stamina I had just a year and a half ago. I feel like I can’t shed these 10 pounds I’d like to lose.
That list is easy to write. I can’t do a lot of things and as easy as it is to write, that must also mean that it’s easy to think and feel and believe those things.
That’s where perspective comes in and becomes so important, and I got some perspective today.
I’ve been getting into yoga. Like, really getting into yoga in a way I’ve never been into it before. In the past I’ve dabbled on and off in yoga since my first yoga class in college. I’ve weaved in and out of it, never adhering to a strict schedule or increasing my intensity much. I even have the same mat that I bought all those years (maybe 8-9 years?) ago.
Recently, I’ve gotten back to yoga and I’ve been trying my hardest to go to class at least twice a week. The studio I go to is extremely convenient, all of the instructors are fantastic, and the classes are even heated, which I would have thought crazy a year ago but now I feel like I can’t get a great practice in without the heat (and it was a nice respite from the frigid winter we had).
I’ve been getting into yoga hard. I started with the beginner classes but eventually graduated to some of the power yoga classes, just increasing the challenge with every class I attend. I go to class, focus on my own body and my own poses, but it’s hard not to notice where others are. I know I shouldn’t compare myself. All of the wonderful instructors tell us not to compare to what another is doing. But I notice and I see how strong they are and how much control they have over their bodies.
And it makes me feel like I can’t do that and maybe I’ll never get there. It feels, sometimes, like I’m not getting better because I’m not that good. I’m not that strong.
Remember when I said I got some perspective? Well, I took a class today that maybe 9 months ago would have been challenging for me. Today, that class felt like a warmup.
I felt strong in my downward facing dog. Really rooted, like you’re supposed to be. I could feel my body doing the work, and my mind quieted, like it knew to shush for a while. Like I’ve gotten better at this. Like now I need it.
The 45 minute class felt great, but it was over so quickly. We were in savasana when I wanted to be dripping sweat on my mat, trying some new pose I’ve never tried. I wanted to work. I was ready to.
And it was done. I felt for the first time in a few months how much better I’ve gotten and all of those “I can’t”s went away.
I can. I do. I will someday. I will get better.
I am getting better. I’m stronger, my balance is better, I’m working on the poses that challenge me. I’m even running again and feeling stronger each time I’m out there.
That perspective shift that I had today, from “I can’t” to “I’m so much stronger” was what I needed to push ahead and keep going. It’s working and all I need to do is keep putting in the time. The rest will come.