The Imperfect Yogi

Anna Coventry
The Imperfect Yogi

I have to admit that I’m not a perfect yogi.

There’s often an assumption that yoga teachers are inherently tranquil creatures that float through life without ever ruffling a single angelic-like feather. Honestly? Nope, we can have our moments too. As human beings, we also ride the rollercoaster of life.

So I’d say most of us are just as beautifully flawed as the next person.

Goodness is something I practice.

So what gives yoga teachers a reputation of being unflappable, happy, and peaceful? Well the fact we teach yoga is one thing, but also I guess it’s also that we’re committed to living the best possible life we can.

We share our knowledge, experience, and love with others in the hope that they benefit in some way. Yoga is a discipline, it’s a lifelong journey of self-discovery and growth and as well as being of service to others, part of being a yoga teacher is living yoga.

I consider myself truly fortunate to be driven, inspired, and motivated by serving others as a yoga teacher.

That drive sees me dedicate hours and tons of energy doing things that offer me no material gain (though admittedly I receive boundless spiritual and emotional benefits) in the hope that my work will uplift someone, somewhere.

I know that my work starts with me, so I cultivate love, gratitude, peace, and positivity (mostly) every day, because I know that doing so makes me a better person, and better company to be around. And on Sunday mornings when it’s easier to stay in bed, I get up and practice yoga.

But don’t shine my halo just yet...

Because guess what. I also enjoy a glass of wine. Okay, maybe two. And I’m done trying to enjoy kale, and I cannot stomach juices that contain bok choy and cabbage, I don’t care how good for me they are.

I often eat peanut butter straight out of the jar and once I’ve started eating granola, I actually can’t stop (I literally have to throw the box away or pour excessive amounts of salt in the bag to dissuade my taste buds).

I sometimes have moments of insecurity, anxiety, and frustration, and PMT doesn't overlook me because I teach yoga. And yes, there are days when I really, really, really just don’t feel like getting on the mat. So I’m an imperfect person and yogi, and I’m totally okay with it.

The idea of perfection doesn’t serve us.

Something I’ve come to realise is that the world doesn't benefit from the concept of perfection. It’s an unattainable goal that once pursued, can surely only lead to dishonesty or disappointment.

The fairy tales we read as children were lovely as a form of entertainment, but they taught us to seek a fictitious product of someone else's imagination. Disney’s Cinderella, for example, creates the notion that a petite blonde with small feet is what Prince Charming is looking for.

Being 5 feet 10 inches tall with size 11 feet, I’m larger than your average gal, so I grew up feeling as though I had more in common with the stepsisters, given their height and giant hooves.

So regardless of whether we teach yoga, practice yoga, or don’t do yoga at all, shouldn't we all just accept ourselves—and each other—as the beautifully flawed, imperfect creatures that we are?

Of course that doesn't mean we can go around behaving like a dick and passing it off as our imperfections, because we still need to live consciously. And part of conscious living is making sure we take care of others with our actions, our words, and our acceptance.

And anyway, this imperfect yogi is glad her feet are too big for the glass slippers. They simply can’t be comfortable to walk in, right?

Image Credit: Anna Coventry