In this world of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, sometimes it is hard to know what is real. Many people saw that post a while ago about how you shouldn't trust everything you see on social media, how sometimes things are edited or cropped to give the illusion of success.
Today I did something a little different with my practice. I recorded myself. Not to make a beautiful video for Instagram, but so I could watch my own alignment. It occurred to me that I have no idea what I look like practicing yoga. I am not concerned with physical beauty in my practice (although I do typically feel beautiful while I practice, it is coming from somewhere inside of me, not from my cute outfit or my zen face), but now that I have begun to teach classes as part of my teacher training, I wanted to see what my alignment was like. I wanted to see how I physically performed the poses. If I could see anything that I could correct. I recorded my entire asana practice, and then I sat and watched it. I practiced poses that I have been struggling with, so that I could have a new perspective on the posture. I noticed something that might get me closer to reaching that one bind that I have been working on. I aaaaaalllllmost was able to get into side crow, a.k.a., my nemesis pose for the last year, and I noticed a few things I can try next time.
As I sat there watching, I also noticed something else. I was proud of myself. Proud that after struggling with this pose for a year, I still practice it. Proud of how far I have come with this post baby body in terms of my strength. Proud of myself for being okay with failing over and over again. Because one day, hopefully really soon, I am going to get this nailed down, and I am going to think of the journey that brought me here. I will think of the letting go as much as I think of the building up. I will think of the bruised arms, cheekbones and ego. I will think of it all.
So here is a portion of my video. I edited it, just to make it shorter, because, really, you don't want to watch me sweat and puff through my flow. And that part where I moved from Prasarita Padottanasana, to Sirsasana II, to Bakasana, even though I have worked my ass off to be able to do it, could come off as showoff-ish, and there were many times that I tried it and couldn't do it. But I will share this little failure with you. Because failure helps us grow. Because failure is the best teacher. And, because we have all experienced failure at one time or another.
*Disclaimer. There is laundry drying on a rack behind me. Because this is a real house. And, there are baskets containing folded laundry and winter items that I had finished sorting. And, when I fall for the 4th time in a row practicing parsva bakasana I sighed out of frustration, because I am a real person, and I get pissed off sometimes. Even in yoga.*