Perfected Imperfection

Posture Pics I am still writing the student manuals for Wasatch School of Yoga, an important part of those manuals is a detail of each of the postures used in the Level I sequence.  I recorded myself and took stills from the recording to use in illustrating the postures.  I immediately saw all the places where my body doesn’t move like it once did and bulges where there used to be none.

My first reaction—the first reaction is free—was that I would have to redo many of the pictures, that I wouldn’t want anyone to see my imperfection as a Yoga teacher.  Right then, I knew I had to use the pictures just as they were.  I always say that we need to accept things as they are and that perfecting the postures is not the end goal of Yoga.  I know the effect of mindful practice, even as I moved through the postures—I was also exceptionally sore that day—I became absorbed by the sensation and movement.  I cannot deny the effect of these practices and yet, I got caught up in how I looked!

I often repeat Gurudev’s teaching that the first reaction is free but only if we use it to be free!  I definitely had a reaction and wanted to protect my self-image.  I could use the experience to sustain my self-image or to transform it.  Was I willing to let everyone see the real me at that moment or was I going to redo the pictures until I was happy with the image they portrayed?  There’s nothing morally wrong with retaking a picture after all!

I know I gained more by deciding to use the pictures than I ever would have by redoing them to perfection.  It also helped reinforce to me that the beauty of the postures is not in perfect alignment but in inward focus.  I look forward to starting a new chapter with Wasatch School of Yoga—courses begin next week, register now—and helping you to use these time tested tools to become free of all that holds you down.

Jai Bhagwan!