No other yoga style has ever made me think about the following more than vinyasa yoga: My own capability to do certain things (and not to be able to do them). The other interesting view is: How good was I in doing something in the past, in the present and in the future? The reason for this might be that I have never „failed“ more in my yoga practice than in a vinyasa class. You either can hold crow pose, or you fall out of it. You are able to do a handstand or you are not able to. Vinyasa Yoga is all about failing, forgiving and trying again and again. There is no other yoga style like this. Everyone is able to do a wide-legged forward fold in a yin practice. But when the teacher says: „Take a few hops into an arm balance, if it’s in your practice“ - that’s when our inner voice might say things like „you can’t do this, you are too heavy“ or „don’t even try, remember, yesterday you failed“. In difficult poses, our mind gets loud and tells us stories why we are not good enough to hold specific poses.
The beauty of Vinyasa Yoga is in facing the truth: Where am I now? What am I good in right now and what do I have to work on? Totally becoming peace with where I am right now, opens the door to begin again. From that state, I am not scared to fail, I am curious to see how things work out today (especially after failing previously) and I allow myself to play. Maybe I wont be able to do a handstand, maybe I won’t be able to do it in the next two years. However, I will only find out by trying.
In my personal practice (and as a teacher in the future) I truly believe that not only encouraging, but also reminding myself (and the students) of the following is gold: Every class is different and every attempt to finally hold a new pose is a new one. Totally blending out what happened yesterday, last week or a month ago will keep the motivation up to try that specific pose again. And failure will bring us closer to holding the pose eventually. That attitude will also manifest a new idea on life in general and how we deal with difficult situations. Instead of simply giving up, we start to face situations with more curious and playful thoughts. We stop assuming to know how situations will turn out. Instead we will accept that every moment and every situation is completely new. Getting stronger in vinyasa yoga and finally becoming able to hold more difficult poses will strengthen our body, and our believe system. Thoughts become actions and actions become habits. We will transform the „I shouldn’t even try, I will never be able to do this“ thoughts into „I give myself the chance to try. I say yes to the practice and to this challenge. I don’t take failure too seriously“ in our yoga practice and in our daily life.
The last important part that I absolutely love about yoga practice is the fact, that failure simply can’t be taken seriously. When I am in my favorite vinyasa yoga class and we are all getting into crow pose (or trying to), my teacher always says: „And don’t have fun, ok? Fun is not allowed in this room“. Even more hilarious is when she says: „And if you fall out, you are a bad person, don’t forget that“. By saying loud what our minds try to tell us, makes it sound ridiculous and stupid. We take life, failure and perfectionism too serious. I love these little reminders of my teacher that make us become aware of these thoughts. We understand that our mind is trying to trick us into giving up by providing us with evidence why we shouldn’t begin again. Keeping a consistent vinyasa yoga practice made me understand when these stories bubble up and how to deal with my inner voice. Becoming aware of it is the first step in the right direction. Instead of giving up, I give myself the chance to try and fail and sometimes I even succeed.
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