January 14, 2013

The Art of Competing with Myself.

The first time I went to a yoga class, I was looking for one more way to perfect my body.

Oh vanity…

But what I found was so much more than that. Unlike many other things I had tried, this was not about perfection or competition. This was about showing up, being present and allowing my body and mind to change a little more every day. I learned that it was much more about allowing than striving.

But then, the ego is still there.

Lately, I find that I’m competing with myself a bit. Can I hold this pose longer? Can I go deeper? It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course, but I believe there is a fine line there. There is a line between wanting growth and feeding our egos. There is a line between the natural unfolding and improving of one’s practice and becoming a control freak overly competitive. There is a line between joyfully desiring to see physical and spiritual progress in my practice and being frustrated or beating up on myself if it isn’t happening as quickly as I’d like.

That line is called intention.

If my intention is continued growth in my practice, it will be a joy to see myself improve, not a frustration or a constant trying to “measure up.”

Today, I got up to practice much earlier than normal. “Farm chores” early. “So early it’s actually just really late” early. Before five early. I had been finding myself scrambling during the day to get everything done with the longer daily practice, so up earlier it is.

For me, getting up almost two hours earlier than normal is growth in my practice. My feet don’t want to stay behind my head? I can live with that. I’ll get there. Or not. I’ll keep at it.

And in honor of Dwight Schrute up above:

Un-beet-able Smoothie

Beets are awesome. They are great blood builders, cleansing for the liver, full of antioxidants and iron—and they are yummy.

(serves one)

Two small beets (I like to get the prepared beets in the produce section if I’m using them this way. There’s nothing added, but they are much easier to deal with)

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup frozen tart cherries

juice of one lemon

some additional water (or coconut water if you need some extra calories and electrolytes)

Throw it in the blender. Yum.

*This is extremely tart and I like it like that. If you’d like something milder, up the amount of water and/or add a little stevia.


What was your practice like today? Are you doing #yogaeverydamnday this month? Check back for my updates and follow along on Twitter @kate_bartolotta and Pinterest.


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