Too often, in yoga, we try to perfect the shape or get it “right.” Attempting to perfect the body will eventually lead to injury and disappointment. I see it often in new students from other styles of yoga because the need to mimic the teacher, check yourself in the mirror and get it right is inherent to the ego thought system. It is falsely associated with the notion that something magical happens when the “pose” is “properly accomplished.”
Life is no different. If not from ourselves, we expect perfection from our friends, family members, and spouses. We expect perfection from our institutions and political leaders. It’s an expectation that leads to conflict, disappointment, and pain. High expectations divide and separate. But yoga joins!
Hamlet said best: “There is no right or wrong in the world, but thinking makes it so.” Yoga is a forgiving state of mind that releases others and, therefore, ourselves from outer demands and the pursuit of perfection. It’s our yoga to release the thoughts that place demands on our brothers and sisters and ourselves.
In previous meditation classes, I spoke about Perennial Wisdom and a changeless, formless, perfect, and eternal Truth we share in Spirit. It’s hidden from our awareness and covered by an imperfect, temporal, and constantly changing world of form. Saints and sages have guided us toward it for centuries. But we need not only take their word for it but also let’s give it a shot! We’ve tried other approaches to peace and happiness that haven’t worked. Let’s trust there is an experience of perfect harmony and joy waiting to be had! Let’s go for it!
Why do I write this? Because we need to know where to look for perfect peace and happiness. We can unload our minds and withdraw the demands we place on anything outside the mind, including our bodies. This gentle turn inward takes courage and trust. It’s what Avita Yoga is all about. We use the shapes to reveal the blockages to natural movement, which sets the stage for the more extensive yoga of releasing the thoughts that work against us (and often produce physical restriction and pain).
And now we know where to look for perfection! Not in the body and not in the world, but in our hearts at the center of our being. It’s our yoga to remove the barriers to this perfect, untarnished Wholeness. Stay with me, and together, we’ll be shown the way. Like Rumi said, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Enjoy the meditation that goes with this post.
After making this post, an Avita Student and teacher pointed out the relevance of the Japanese practice of Wabi-Sabi. Not only is it fun to say, but it addresses the impossibility of perfection in form. With practice, we begin to see all things from a place of Perfect Beauty.