Sunday, January 20, 2013


I had an amazing opportunity this weekend to practice with some of my yoga heroes Briohny Smyth and her husband Dice Ilda-Klein at, where else but, Green Monkey.  They were two of the sweetest people I have ever met, and I loved every second of their class even when sweat was dripping in my eyes and up my nose. Yes, I was upside down enough that sweat had the opportunity to drip up my nose. This was a special class, not just because of how much time we spent on our hands instead of our feet but because of the level of the people practicing next to me. 

People were doing some cirque du soleil freaky stuff that mere mortals don't can't do. I won't even tell you what Dice and Briohny (who by the way is 5 months pregnant, gorgeous, and still doing handstands) were doing because it was the stuff that yoga deities are made of, but watch their videos and you'll have a good idea. Their version of giving variations sounded something like this: So, you're going to float into a handstand (I'M GOING TO WHAT?), you could then come down into a one legged crow, maybe you want to come back into handstand, and switch sides, maybe a one handed handstand, maybe you want to levitate, OK yogis get to it! Watching my fellow yogis float into poses with ease that I can only hope to one day shove myself into was inspiring.  

Its easy to look up at the beautiful people around you with contempt from your sweaty blob on the floor, but instead I looked up with wonder. These peeps were doing AMAZING things, and one day I'm going to do those amazing things. I had the perspective of a beginner again. I remembered what it feels like not to be able to do most things, to look around at everyone else, and feel that pang of jealousy that what comes so easily to them is the biggest challenge you have ever faced. 

I am incredibly guilty of not wanting to do things that I'm not good at. I was reminded of this the other day when my girlfriend asked me to guess what something was and I flat out refused. I had no idea, so I was bound to be wrong. Why bother to try if you are sure to fail? 

And yet I've never had this perspective with my yoga, I fall all the time in yoga. I tell my classes stories all the time of my yoga failures and I have no shame in them at all. I’ve talked before about how who you are on the mat is who you are in the world, but maybe for me that isn’t true. I think I’m might be a better version of myself on the mat than anywhere else. I am able to practice all of the qualities I most admire true effort, compassion, truth, grace, gratitude and surrender, with ease on the mat, not so much in life. Perhaps a little perspective shift is in order. Rather than let my day-to-day life choices be dictated by a fear of failure, I could take my yoga perspective off the mat and into the rest of my world. 

What if this week you challenged yourself to be a little more like your yoga (or running, cycling, zumba-ing, kickboxing, meditating, or whatever else you do) self and less fearful?