Commitment in Relationships (and Yoga!)
When I was a teenager, everything was just fine.
I had good friends, good grades, a supportive family and a healthily unhealthy social life. I was beginning to take those first tentative steps into relationships, and discovering the excitement of the unavoidable teen drama that they carry with them. I was enjoying dipping my toes into these prequels to real life, and of course felt adamant that I was there already.
I was happy to abandon the notion of childhood, and did so comparatively gracefully, although I know now, I was not quite set for the realities of adulthood.
Not Quite There Yet
Because, even in the midst of everything actually being okay, I was often aware of that little touch of naïve darkness; that backnote of angst. I think even the most secure, happiest of people fall prey to emotional difficulty of some kind in those tricky, intermediate years. Deep down, even the most confident of teens knows that they are not quite there yet.
But here I am, some years later (not that many, thank you), reliving those exciting moments of discovery, this time for that branch of myself that is my practice; every damn day. I have a handle on the basics, my knowledge has grown to eclipse my former uncertainties and I can carry a vinyasa class without having to check the pose names with teacher. I am stronger. I’ve seen improvement. At times, I’ve seen leaps of it. I know how the basic poses should feel — right down to fine details. I understand the feeling of muscle engagement and I’ve grown something of an instinct for it. I have outgrown the safety net of the beginner label I clung to for fear of being caught short. I have lost an element of concern for the judgement of others. I breathe. Not always well, but I do breathe.
My progression has been just fine. My ability and flexibility is okay. Yet those backnotes of uncertain angst can still creep in. I am an intermediate again. My frustration of ‘can’t’ feels as heavy as it always did. I am impatient on this plateau of the in between. I have balanced the line between child and adult for too long. It is too easy to loose sight of what you have done, in favour of the awareness of what you can’t. I am stuck. And grumpy about it.
Maintaining the Commitment to Yoga
Like with any ongoing commitment to fitness, you can lose the love for yoga. There is a panic in my chest when I wake up on those days, and realise I don’t look forward to my morning session. It grows stronger when I skip it for multiple days in a row. I am stronger now than I have ever been, and I fear that if the love is gone, the attitude, the ability and the muscle will not be far behind. I do not want to lose what I have built.
But I am not actually a teenager anymore. And I think that deep down I know that my yoga is not the drama of a teen relationship. It’s worth more than demotivation from unreached fitness goals. I do not sweat for two hours a day just for the gain in muscle. It is not about the shape of my thighs. If it was, there are a thousand work outs that would get me there quicker. I think yoga is an adult relationship. Yoga loves me for me, and it always returns. And no amount of pettiness, frustration or cold shoulders is enough to end that.
Continuing Progress Together
Just like my real partner of — a rather adult — seven years, (and counting!) yoga and I have progressed this far, and it’s impossible to foresee a future without it. The strength of commitment has grown with the development of the relationship. Progression is key, but it is not all encompassing. It is okay to sometimes just be.We will take out our frustrations on each other from time to time, because it’s easy to get fed up with those closest. Yoga and I have reached a turbulent age of uncertainty. But it doesn’t shatter a thing. The panic in my chest when I think of losing this element of my life is by far enough to tell me I won’t. I would and will fight to keep yoga with me. And a few tiffs and nights spent on the sofa are inevitable. But the other side of such periods is beautiful and it is there; it’s a gradual progress of hard work and communication, but all is coming. And when it is in such plain sight, I know there is no going back.
My unresolved resolutions from last year will roll over, for however many years it takes. There is no shame in that. We have plenty more to discover.
Yogis, tell us your stories about commitment in the comments below!