I am currently in the middle of a multi-week long intensive yoga program. It’s hard, like balance on your hands with your feet behind your head hard, and let’s just say I don’t look like the cover of Yoga Journal when I practice. One day my daughter Delphine came into the garage when I was in mid downward dog with a leg in the air and said, “You don’t look like the lady on the screen.” Thank you for that, Delphine. One day, during one of the particularly challenging classes in which I murmured “F- - - that” to myself about a quarter of the moves, my teacher said, “You are the Masterpiece AND the work in progress.” It really struck me and instantly eased my sore ego (sore muscles not so much).
We get stuck thinking we have to be the Masterpiece all the time and when we aren’t, those aspects that don’t live up are failures. But when we think that work in progress is the masterpiece, it’s nothing but beauty the whole way. If all nature is doing is evolving, evolution itself is the masterpiece of consciousness. We, as evolving beings, are representatives of that mastery.
I try to imagine myself as someone else, some woman on the floor of her garage, still holding on to the weight gain from her last pregnancy so no yoga clothes actually fit, her arms and legs shaking trying to maintain the most basic version of a pose, she stops to shed a few tears here and there as the stress from her life and the stress from the world releases in doses, doing this night after night after her kids go to sleep since it’s the only available time. All I can feel for her is love and admiration.
No, that woman will never grace the cover of a yoga magazine, but that experience of expanding self-acceptance and awareness is the essence of yoga and the essence of why we are all here in the first place.
If you would like to check out the yoga program referenced above, it's Roxie Nebel's Yoga for Dance Academy four month training. I highly recommend it. CLICK HERE