On Being Perfectly Imperfect.
"A chapter in Baron Baptiste’s book Perfectly Imperfect that hit me where it counts was ‘The Myth of the Real Yogi.’
The way I used to think about yoga and what ‘a real yogi’ was that it meant I’m constantly at the studio, embodying every stereotypical connotation that goes along with the word yoga. And if I did anything less, then I simply was out of the circle. I believed this so fully that I would feel really self-conscious. If I hadn’t been to a class in a few weeks, I felt such shame setting up my mat, thinking I should give people a disclaimer. I also thought ‘Once I’m more in shape, than I’ll be ready to go back to yoga.’ I thought this FOR YEARS. I think I even said it to Melinda a couple years ago when she taught classes in her loft. Her response, mega casually; ‘oh, yoga just meets you where you are.’ And it stuck with me. Not only was it completely freeing, forgiving, but it allowed me to actually experience the practice more intimately. By this I mean, knowing that yoga meets me wherever I am [WHEREVER], I can show up with presence. I can hit the mat for that practice, instead of thinking that I’ll be in better shape and balance 3 practices from now. There is no arrival.
This chapter also touches on hiding behind masks, the mask of what a ‘real yogi’ looks like. I hear that. What do I now consider to be a ‘real yogi'? My definition of a real yogi is someone who shows up, gets on their mat, allows themselves to be open, vulnerable, curious, and present. And. We aren’t all those things all the time. But, like just about every practice I’ve learned about in Baptiste Yoga, we can fall right back into these facets after having fallen out of them. If you show up and yoga meets you as you are, accepts you as you are (as esoteric as that sounds), then what more is there? You practice. It’s a practice and you’re practicing. You’re authentic and practicing. Real. Yogi.
The single idea of being perfectly imperfect has hit me most in a way of self-acceptance. I am allowed to be and do all the things I want and try. I can show up without making any apologies. I can carry the parts I don’t like and have them hold hands with the parts I do. I can show up for myself right now, instead of for a future self I hope to become. There is no pressure of destination. There is merely the constant opportunity of practice. Right now."
On our mats and in our lives we are often coming in and going out of being present, focused, content, worthy or feeling good enough. You are not alone. You’re invited to practice with all your flaws, regrets, missteps and weakness. Join WVPY this Saturday with Baron Baptiste from 2:30-5:00pm at the Willamette Conference Center. We have a spot just right for you in all your Perfectly Imperfect glory.
Please do not let finances hold you back. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org