Imperfect Yogi

Confession: I am an imperfect yogi.

I do not have the body that Hollywood or the fashion & fitness magazines would deem ideal for one who practices and teaches yoga.

I haven’t mastered every single asana. In fact, there are some that I haven’t even attempted yet. Sometimes, I still wobble in balance poses (even as a teacher!), my upper body strength is not where I would like it to be, and I do not have “human pretzel” flexibility. Also, my knees and Pigeon pose are not exactly on speaking terms.

Occasionally, my mind wanders during my practice. Or I lose my attention to breath. Or I may fidget during meditation.

Sometimes, I allow stubbornness or pride to encourage me to push myself too hard on the mat. Other times, I give in to fear and defeat and give up too soon. 

At times, I fail to take my practice off the mat and into the world. I don’t always get it right with the yamas & niyamas. In fact, there are moments in my life when I fall woefully short.

It’s all too easy to fall prey to the cult of busy, to focus all my energy on being a teacher and neglect to still be a student, to let my personal practice fall down on the priority list (often at times when I need my own practice the most).

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

I’ve been wanting to start a studio blog for some time now but kept finding excuses to put it off. (This could actually be included in the above list of my imperfections, but I said I wasn’t going to go on an on.)

As it’s International Yoga Day, I thought what better opportunity to finally start putting my thoughts down on paper (or computer screen, as the case may be), as well as get super, authentically honest in a public way. Sometimes, I really mess this whole yoga thing up!

The good news? That’s OKAY! I’m so grateful that it’s a PRACTICE, that every day…moment to moment, even…I get the chance to start again. So does everyone else who commits to the yoga journey. We’ve all been in the rough spots. If it were easy, it would be called “yoga perfect.”

So, I commit to showing up, to keep trying. To be on my mat. To be in meditation. To keep learning and growing as both student and teacher. To being my authentic self and accepting that she’s sometimes messy. To just. Keep. Breathing.

Nicole McL

P.S. Welcome to the Firehouse Yoga Blog! More posts to come. I promise to share insights of my own as well as my fellow FH teachers about the practice, about finding yoga in unexpected places, learning from yoga in unexpected ways, and about taking the practice off the mat and living it in everyday life. Please join us in the conversation!

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