"On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure." - Bhagavad Gita.
Many people stay away from yoga and tell me that "I'm just not flexible enough," or "I can no longer twist", or "some poses are too challenging for me."
But are we missing the point when we count ourselves out based on a self-imposed pre-requisite of strength and flexibility? Perhaps we can be more flexible in exploring yoga without fixating on whether we would succeed or fail in it. In yoga, we don't have to meet any performance benchmarks.
The practice is the practice itself.
If we are open to exploring yoga, we begin to discover that the practice will soften and strengthen us in ways that we have never imagined possible.
Physical strength and flexibility will come through a regular asana (physical pose) practice. At the same time, there is a softening through the surrendering of the ego and opening of the heart, and a strengthening of our personal resilience to face life's vagaries.
Beyond the physical, yoga as meditative practice and as a philosophy is an effort in reconnecting to our center, to our true essence of being. Every effort counts.
We'd find at this center the essence that is unafraid to be vulnerable, that abounds in unselfish love, that is immaculate; the essence that does not get stuck in petty pros-and-cons dilemma, and is free from prejudice, hurt and blame. It welcomes 'failure' as part of the process. It does not dissipate energy in constant worrying about the past and anxiety about the future.
This reconnecting with the true essence of being is the euphoria we sometimes get to taste at the end of a yoga class, or experience in life's moments as a sensation of flow, orgasmic bliss, or as a second wind.
Remember, effort is all that is needed. The practice is the practice.
The practice itself is the practice.
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