My bio states I am the eternal optimist.
But my bio is wrong. And as much as I write about faith, it’s surprising how much I lack.
No place would you see this as clearly as you would in my yoga practice. I’ve met every new bind/lift/landing with the same doubt and disbelief as if I’d never been proven wrong before.
I’m actually really quite dense, when you think about it.
This past summer, I was sent Kino Macgregor’s Third Series DVD to review. (It’s in this month’s Yoga Journal.) I watched her move through the advanced postures with such strength and grace, all the while thinking, only someone like Kino could pull that routine off. (And in bootie shorts, no less.)
And by “someone like Kino,” what I mean is someone younger, stronger, more flexible and capable, with better hair and no kids. In other words, not your ordinary-everyday-non-yoga-rock-star person like me.
But is that true?
Because if you asked me where I find most of my inspiration, it’s not from rock stars—it’s from real people, maybe exactly like me, (but just a little better.)
Like the mother of two beside me, who gets up at the crack of dawn to practice before a full workday, and yet still manages to feed her family home-cooked meals every evening and get her kids to ballet on time.
Or the young college girl whose yoga space is a bathroom where she practices alone while living with a foreign family, immersed in a culture and language she doesn’t know, far away from anyone, or thing familiar.
Or how about the ex-football player who recently walked into a mysore room for the first time, filled with seeming acrobats-called-yogis, knowing full well he can’t even touch his toes, or lift his arms straight over his head.
This dazzles me as much as watching Kino bust into Koundinyasana A from a headstand. And I think to myself … how? How do they find the strength, courage, and even time?
And they each answer the same—you just do.
Despite being overwhelmed and tired, with a fair share of doubt, loneliness and fear, the option to “not do” just isn’t there.
I forget just how powerful that “just do” is. And that what I think is possible or impossible is irrelevant because if I just do, I will surely and eventually find out.
You see, optimism is nice and faith certainly makes it easier. But the truth of the matter is, I need neither. All I really need is to just keep going.
And yes, by the way, I do mean off the mat too.
Editor: Thaddeus Haas
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