3 Things Yoga Has Taught Me About Being Perfect

Laura Palmer
3 Things Yoga Has Taught Me About Being Perfect

I am not perfect and that's okay.

I have spent a lot of my life striving to be a perfect person. I wanted to be the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect yogi, the perfect employee. I wanted to live a life others would envy.

Overusing the Word 'Want'

I think the problem with all of that is the overuse of the word want. Never once when I wanted these things did I ever use the word 'need'. I never needed to be perfect for anyone. I needed to be the daughter my parents brought me up to be.

I needed to be the wife my husband married, and not anything else. I needed to be a good mother to my children, I did not need to be perfect for them. No one ever asked me to be perfect.  No one asked me to excel at everything  I do, except for me.

The more I searched for perfection, the further I ran from it. I have learned to love myself and embrace my imperfections through yoga. I cannot get into Handstand, I cannot get into full Wheel pose due to my fat head and lack of shoulder strength, I fall sometimes when in Warrior III.

At first these things discouraged me, I wanted to quit. What was the point of doing any of this if I can't be perfect at it?

The point is that it was my practice, and mine alone. It didn't have to look or be like anyone else's. It's mine, and what I am capable of is amazing.

These are the 3 major things I feel yoga has taught me about perfection.

1. It's my practice, not yours.

That's right. It's mine, and mine alone. I don't need approval to do my own thing. I can fall down, I can wobble in Tree pose, and hell I might even fart in Half Lord of the Fishes. And all of this is OK.

If it was meant to be anything else, it would have been. I have learned to accept that not every time I come to the mat will be the most enlightening moment of my life, but when it is, that makes it even more special, and even more my own.

Not to get all Full Metal Jacket, but this is my practice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.

2. You will fall down.

And no I don't just mean literally. Not every day will be a winner, not every day will be the best. There will be days I don't feel like rolling out the ole' yoga mat, and I would rather sit on the couch and watch bad movies and eat cookie dough straight from the tube.

Not every day will be one to write home about, and not every day will something eventful happen. And guess what? That's OK too.  As long as you have learned to get back up and strive to be the best version of yourself tomorrow, or maybe the day after that, shoot maybe even next week. Just don't get stuck there.

Trust me, it's a really crap-tastic place to be. I spent a lot of time there — it's dark, damp, and it smells terrible.

3. You always get back up.

Okay, so you fell down, now what? You get right back up, dust off your yoga pants, and get back on the mat. You do your imperfect practice, you fall down in Tree pose, you wobble in your Warrior III, and you rock the shit out of it.

Why? Because every day will not be perfect, and as long as you have learned to love yourself, and trust yourself and to be the best version of yourself, then you should have no qualms about being yourself. Being perfect is overrated anyways.

Now excuse me, I think something is burning in the oven.