Today’s yoga session was particularly enlightening. I wasn’t in the mood for yoga; I’ve slept little the past several nights; my body is sore from teaching several fitness classes; I was hungry. But I did it anyway – willpower is a muscle, and like all other muscles, you need to exercise it.
While I was flowing through some sun salutations, trying to master the one breath per movement, I found myself, as always, struggling to keep up. When would my next inhale be? Would I be able to jump my feet to my hands and come to a halfway lift all in one breath? What number sun salutation am I on? Can I truly make it through the next three without taking any additional breaths? I was fighting myself to stop the temptation of taking an extra breath. It was excruciating and exhausting. I wanted more oxygen.
And then, just like someone entered my brain to give me the answer, it came to me: There is enough. Though the thought ended there, my experience was transformed. Suddenly, I had enough oxygen. It was no more and no less than I had before, but I stopped wanting it, knowing that I had all that I needed. In that moment, I knew the difference between need and want. I felt the difference. And I was much happier finishing my sun salutations because of it.
I stepped off my yoga mat after my brief practice, and took a look at my life. I often wish for more: more money, more responsibility, more education, more flexibility, more dedication, more skill. But, when it comes down to it, there is enough. I may not have all I want, but I have what I need. I may not have all the money I would like, but I can pay to live safely and healthily. I may not have all the skills I would like, but I have the ability to work towards it.
This is my real yoga. Not every unrolling of the mat leads to an unraveling of the mind, but when it does, it is oh so sweet.