My own worst enemy
Since starting the new year, I have not been able to practise yoga as often as I would like each week. Work commitments and new projects are increasingly filling my diary and I’m finding it really difficult to take time out to look after myself.
Our society is so competitive, isn’t it? It seems like success and achieving goals come before any other type of need. The philosophy of yoga could not be more distant from this trend, which has pressurised us for a long time now, and from a very early age. I remember how nervous I used to be about getting a good result in an exam after studying concepts and information that I managed to learn off by heart but not assimilate… That demand and responsibility with which I approached my studies, and which made me experience times of anguish, are still a part of my personality. And once again, it is now that my mat is giving me a wise lesson, because in those time capsules that I devote to the practice of yoga, I come face to face with my audacity, with stress and nerves, and realise how easy it is to allow oneself to get carried away and fall out of tune with what we really need.
It amazes me how quickly we can lose the focus of what really matters and become transcendental when we are immersed in the micro-worlds that we create based on frustration, when things don’t work out. Losing my focus on the mat makes me feel much smaller; it saddens me because I am letting my own body down, because the practice of yoga is what connects me with my truth.
I acknowledge that I am a demanding person, and the worst thing is that that demand begins in me. It is what is often hardest to manage, what turns me into an unkind judge and leads me to feel disappointment. It lashes me and turns me into my own worst enemy. Seeking perfection, demanding that you become what you have to become, and what is expected of you, or trying to meet the expectations that you project in yourself are challenges that can have their pros and cons. Because the ambition that lives in demand can also be healthy: it means getting your act together to improve and evolve, leaving your comfort zone, setting aside your fears, and going for it. But, as I said before, without losing the focus of what most matters and, of course, maintaining balance.
The experience and tools that yoga has afforded me make me realise that excellence or a good result do not mean success. So, what is success then? For me it is knowing that I can, that I involve myself, that I roll up my sleeves… and that when I make a mistake IT DOESN’T MATTER. It is like meditation; you go, but you always come back. Where? To find your body and your essential needs once again, which is what your nature really demands.