Competitive Yoga – Pretty Sure I’m Doing It Wrong

Rebecca: Well, I took a class in New York, and, I mean, not surprisingly, I got an “A.”
Greg: They give grades in pole dancing?
Rebecca: They do if you ask.
(Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, ‘I’m Going to the Beach With Josh and His Friends!’)

Yoga is about being fully present in the experience. Doing yoga is the goal of doing yoga. I suck at yoga.

I learned early on that I cannot compare myself to others in the class. Some of these people can do amazing things with their bodies. So I watch them in awe and pray they’re not judging me.

But I am constantly judging myself. Today, during class, I got really angry with myself because I couldn’t get into wheel pose. Wheel pose and I have a tumultuous relationship. Sometimes I can do it. Sometimes I can’t. Sometimes I can do it once but I can’t do it when instructed to do it the second time. Sometimes I can do it but I get freaked out and collapse (which is probably not safe).

My frustration today was because I want to know where I stand with the pose. Can I do it or not? How do I categorize it? Where is it on my mental list: “poses I can do well” (mountain pose) – “poses I can barely do”(L pose) – “poses I hope to do soon” (crow pose) – “poses I hope to do within a year but probably won’t (handstand).”yoga-1240391-1279x853

And as I sat on my mat, contemplating my wheel pose plight, it occurred to me that comparing my current self to my past or my future self is very much NOT helping me be mindful and present.  That was when I realized just how much I suck at yoga. And the reason I suck at yoga isn’t because I can’t do a handstand. It’s because I think about yoga as something at which you can suck.

I have to find a way to let go of my goals in yoga class and try to just exist on my mat.  Then maybe I can finally win the Zen enjoy the present moment.

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