The recent changing of the clocks got me thinking about one of the biggest fallacies we can get caught up in, which is the myth of perpetual progress. We live in a culture where success and achievement are prized. We learn to continually set goals, aim higher, and push ourselves harder.
There is nothing wrong with aspiration or hard work, but we need to remember that not all progress is forward motion. We are so trained to think of “climbing the ladder” or “taking the next step” that sometimes we lose sight of the fact that growth happens in all directions. Even “backwards”.
Yoga is an opportunity to study and meditate on this truth. In the studio, it is tempting to push harder every day, to always want to go a little deeper, to hold the pose a little longer. But that’s not how our bodies (or minds) work. When you practice regularly you have the chance to observe that each day is different. Some days you’re strong, some days your flexible, some days you’re none of the above.
At first, it can be frustrating or daunting to feel like you’re falling back, but with time and practice we discover that the “bad days” are part of a larger pattern. The times when we struggle and feel weak are part of getting stronger.
Next time you feel you are “falling back” in some aspect of your practice, or career, or relationships, or finances, or whatever else, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t get stressed. Growth happens organically, in all directions. Let yourself be where you are…