It is not about how flexible you are, or how advanced your asanas, your postures, are. The real work comes from deep inside, guided by breath. That is where you will find your profound self, where you will find peace in acceptance. Yoga is the union between effort and surrender. Personally, I am not a proficient enough yogi to reach this state every time I go to my mat. That is okay. To some, I am considered an advanced yoga practitioner because of the postures I am able to do. It is all about where you are starting from, about letting go of self-criticism and judgment.
Yoga inspires me, teachers guide me. Ultimately, the practice is the teacher. Tim Miller said to me that your yoga is a mirror of your life. That became so clear last year, when I lost my mom. Arm balances always have been a strength of mine. During that time, I felt so weak and unsteady in my handstands.
Yoga is the union of two Sanskrit concepts: abhyasa and vairagya, or focused effort and surrender. With each exhale, you go closer to your edge. It does not matter if that means wrapping a towel around your foot because you cannot reach your toes on a forward bend, or if that means wrapping your leg behind your head in a forward bend … because that is YOUR edge … if you are going there with your breath as your guide.
I have had people say to me, “I am not good at yoga” and “My body is not made for yoga.” There is no such thing! If you can breathe, you can be good at yoga. Our minds limit us in so many ways.
I am not suggesting that one must practice yoga to have peace and balance in their life. There are many paths to finding harmony. Let us help and encourage each other with the most powerful practice of all: Love.