I was thinking about people coming to yoga for the first time. When I first came I saw others who could touch there toes and do a ton of cool bending tricks. I listened to instructors who seemed to be enlightened and have everything together. I wish I knew the first day what I know now.
As long as each one of us is on this planet we will be fighting to keep our lives in balance. When I first stepped on the mat I had a lot of thoughts. That first day my competitive personality showed up. I wanted to be a true yogi. I thought I had so far to go in order to twist like the others in a pretzel. I thought I needed to learn to breathe better and become a meditating monk. I was going to push myself to my limit. The one thing I wish I knew was that I just needed to be and accept who I am. I heard it through out my yoga practice, but I do not think I ever grasped it. The truth is as soon as you step on that mat your are a yogi.
The same people I looked up to were also working on their own issues. It seems that even the people that have practiced yoga for 10 to 20 years still were working on their problems. For example my friend who does yoga everyday needs to constantly move around. The thing she needs to work on is trying to sit still. Her true meditative state is when she is in constant movement, but when she is still her mind starts to race. She is working on that balance. If you look at her in the yoga room she is busting out into handstands and has complete control over her physical body. The physical side is just one part of yoga.
If you are new to yoga and afraid to come into the studio in fear of what other might think, don't be. 80% of us are too busy trying to figure out our own issues. The other 20% are worried about what you think of them. Yoga is a great place to learn about life and who you are. The first step is to show up.
The biggest lesson I can give to anyone both on and off the mat is to be yourself. Accept who you are. When you first step on that mat be grateful that you can step on that mat in the first place. Be patient with your life. The sooner you accept who you are, the sooner you will start to find and maintain your balance. You will begin to find out the purpose on why you are here on this earth.
When we simply accept who we are, we start to begin our yoga practice. We are aloud to be an angry yogi, a smart ass yogi, or a Doritos eating yogi. We are all practicing and learning with each other. Be proud of your uniqueness and embrace who you are.