Wayne was shy, overweight, and popping dozens of pills every day to deal with chronic back pain. He was quickly losing touch with himself. In December of 2011, he decided he was sick of it all and went to a yoga class. It was hot. He sweat. A lot. He could only do a few of the poses. But he enjoyed the challenge, and so he returned the next day. He stayed near the back so as not to be recognized. And he kept showing up.
Wayne arrived up on our Alchemy Tours Yoga trip in Hawaii in October of 2012, and had left the old behind. He had practiced six days a week for nearly a year and lost over 35 lbs! He is the most energetic, friendly, upbeat outgoing person you will meet. And he doesn’t take one pill.
It is easy to get overwhelmed and think we are never going to get better. We can easily become paralyzed with seeing the world as unforgiving or dangerous. A tantric veiw is one of seeing the good. This is not the same as setting unrealistic expectations, which knock down our self-esteem. The truth is that the world is not a bad place. It is really a mirror of what we think of ourselves.
So in a real sense the highest practice of yoga is self-acceptance. The more we can be confident in accepting ourselves—even if we can only do a few poses—the more we can accept others and their humanness. So today the practice is to keep dreaming up goals or intentions and work towards them.
Letting go of the mistakes we will undoubtedly make along the way. On the mat, try a new pose. If you are new to yoga, don’t beat yourself up if you need to take Child’s Pose every now and then. Keep at it! As Wayne says, the worst thing that happened to him was that he had to buy an entirely new wardrobe!
" Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved, but for the patience to win my freedom." Shantideva