My practice today was somewhat slow and very, very restorative. That wasn't my initial plan. I wanted a strong sweaty flow to energise and challenge me this morning, but having been on an amazing three day teacher training course this week - which involved a lot of self practice - and having taught a few classes yesterday, this morning when I got to my mat.
My body said no.
And there was a moment where I was cross with my body for not allowing me to do what I wanted. But just a moment. A flicker. Because then I remembered all that it had done for me this week.
So my practice looked a little like a long lay down today. With a few gentle hamstring stretches, a twist and some gentle seated forward folds. It was actually in my forward fold that I asked myself this question...
'Can you meet your body where it is at today?'
I thought back to a few days ago when I had my head on my knee in a forward fold. Today my head was at least a foot away from that knee.
Did I judge? Did I criticize? No. I actually found that moment truly beautiful as I realised I had no harsh words for myself. No mean girl rushing to tell me how rubbish I am.
I accepted exactly where my body is today and I didn't try and change that. We are moving, living creatures and nothing ever stays the same. That is surely part of the joy of living? That is what allows growth and progress, but yes, it also means that sometimes we can't do something we used to be able to do.
Not that long ago I would have judged myself for 'going backwards'. I would have been critical and harsh and mean to myself, and felt like a failure.
I often hear people say - 'I used to be able to do this' or 'I could do this last week' - and they get frustrated and angry and end up being negative towards themselves. I realise now that THIS is the practice of yoga. This is what yoga teaches me on a daily basis. To be humble and accepting and kind - no matter what.
Every single body that comes to my class is different - and there are some things that our body may never be able to do. And that is OK. That doesn't make us inferior as a person or not worthy.
It doesn't mean you aren't good at something.
It doesn't mean you are not capable and strong.
It means you are human. You are real.
So today can you soften a little in your view of your body? Can you release judgement and just meet your body where it is at? Stiffness, aches, challenges and all?