Yoga Practice

Progress not Perfection

As I scroll through my Instagram feed I am inundated with what I would call perfection (or near perfection). I follow lots of influencers in multiple spaces from fashion to cooking to yoga. As I scroll, I know that these pictures are most likely professional or it took a hundred shots before getting the right one. However, it’s hard to quiet the voice inside your head. It’s difficult not to be overwhelmed with the unrealistic expectations of who/what/how we should be. How do you compete with that? It’s this that can discourage us, allow us to give up on our goals or worst of all to be mean to ourselves. I think we can all relate.

I have struggled greatly in the past with body image. Counting and restricting calories became an obsession. It wasn’t healthy, I didn’t look it and I most definitely did not feel it. I mean, I was hangry 75% of the time! I was using Yoga and other forms of exercise, as a means to lose weight but it’s so much more than that. Yoga especially, has allowed me to appreciate my body and my mind. Those nasty thoughts still creep into my head; I recognize them and let them pass. It’s still a struggle at times but I have let my obsession with food go.

Working hard on my wheel!

Working hard on my wheel with straight legs!

Perfection is unattainable, and there will always be something about ourselves that could be better (in our minds anyways!). So I have decided that I need to replace the word “perfection” with “progress.” My journey needs to be about my growth– physically and emotionally. This philosophy has really changed the way I look at myself.

Instead of obsessing about that number on the scale, my goal now is to work on my yoga progress. Can I deepen that stretch? Hold that headstand for a little longer? Just make it through class? And when I do, when I see even the smallest amount of progress, I am happy and I will always call that a win. We should all celebrate the small wins in our life a little more!

LA

Don’t get me wrong, there are good days and there are bad days (believe me, there are always bad days). But I take the bad with the good and the good days always outweigh the bad days. A wonderful lesson that yoga has taught me is that at any point I can reset my day and I do so often! I don’t need to wait until tomorrow or Monday.

Now I use social media to find my fellow yogi’s! My goal has been to get more involved in the yoga community and people are more than willing to point you in the right direction. Getting involved in acroyoga is a goal of mine this year, and through Instagram I have found a teacher and class in my area. Those perfect pictures are no longer a source of negative self-talk. Because I will get to where I need to be, when I need to be there.

I will leave you with this quote from Diane Von Furstenburg. “The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.” So just remember, you are beautiful, you are strong, and you are worth it!

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jessica

    March 12, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Love the ending quote! This post is such a good reminder of how perfection messes with our heads and can make us feel so insecure about ourselves. I always try to “perfect” what I do and get down on myself but then I try to snap out of that thinking and remind myself that nobody’s perfect! And that it’s okay to admit that “I’m a work in progress” I might just have to print this out as a constant reminder 🙂 thank you for the post!!

  2. Amanda

    Amanda

    March 12, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Such important words here! The goal is simply progress, and that’s really the most fun. When we focus on this idea of “I’m going to handstand like her” it gets frustrating, because, first off, it’s impossible: I can only handstand like ME. Secondly, pushing so hard for the “finish line” means missing all the little victories along the way: first time taking your feet off the wall, first time getting up there without a wall, first time holding for more than two seconds, first time pressing up… Those are all great moments, even though they can’t be seen in Instagram photos. If we’re only focusing on the end result, those victories start to feel like failures. And they are absolutely not. They’re progress. They’re good. 🙂

  3. Megan Reddix

    Megan Reddix

    March 13, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I absolutely love this! The message is so incredibly powerful. I come from a world of self hate and self harm and over time and constant vocalized reminders that I am already enough I have been able to fall in love with who I already am. I am my own kind of perfect. I still struggle with the little voice from my past whispering dark lies into my ears, of course. Even today when I couldn’t complete even the first mile of the two mile outdoor run my husband wanted to take me on, I cried and thought “will I ever be good at this?” I just needed to remind myself that I will be able to do that run with him at my own pace and in my own time. I’m just a beginner at running, and my husband put zero pressure on me to be as fast or as comfortable as him; just as I would never expect him to hit all the yoga poses I have advanced into. Your words came at just the right time. Thank you! <3

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