At one of my classes this week, a woman returned to the class that she attended a couple of years ago. She commented that she was astonished at how much progress the class had made in her absence.
Over the last week I have been looking at a lot of ‘before & after’ style content on social media. For example, pictures of people attempting a difficult yoga pose 2 years ago compared to them doing it now. I have also noticed a slight trend for people to be prepared to share examples of poses that they cannot do. One of these added the simple caption
“Progress not Perfection”
You do not need me to tell you how social media can pressure us to present idealised versions of ourselves and our lives to others. So I have found it refreshing that some people are being honest about the fact that the success they are having is a journey - and sometimes a very long journey at that.
There are many yoga poses that I cannot do, and it is very easy for me to structure my classes so that these poses never feature, so as not to expose my lack of ability (and arguably dedication). Two of these are:
Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Forearm Stand (Pincha Maryurasana or Pincha for short)
Don’t get me wrong, these are both very challenging poses - but this is my job after all. So I am going to get some “Before” video clips of my dismal attempts at these poses, and then share my progress (or lack of) over the coming months.
It would be amazing if you could do that too. I don’t mean Wheel and Pincha, but any pose that you are struggling to do. If you want advice, then feel free to contact me. You don’t have to share these; they can be just for you.
Of course, this principle extends way beyond the yoga mat, and it has prompted me to think about other areas of my life where I am making progress, but where I am a long way away from perfect. I have set myself some challenges in a couple of those areas too. I haven’t decided yet whether I am brave enough to share those.
In a few weeks’ time people all around the world will be making resolutions that won’t even see the end of January, but I am making a commitment to start now - and I invite you to join me.
Progress not Perfection.
My new mantra.