As I shift into downward dog, I suddenly feel a wink of my own strength, a sense of agency, resilience, and possibility over perfection.
You might think, “So what? Lots of people have a yoga practice.” The thing is, I did have one before I developed an autoimmune condition that temporarily put me from walking yogini into a period of disability. I started to recover – thanks to medicine, supporting practices, and incredible people in my life – yet the journey has been dotted with frustrating setbacks.
When my lovely friend and colleague, Erica, asked about being her accountability partner for yoga, I wanted to show up for her but was not sure I could get on my mat in any meaningful way. But – I did, every weekday morning at 8am. At first, I could not do many of the yoga positions, and often self-judgment came in to play.
I gave myself permission to do whatever I could and let the rest go. I didn’t need to do the whole practice as designed; I got to choose what I would do. The morning practice became an invitation to show my top values of love and kindness to myself.
What happened was nothing short of miraculous. Within a period of months, I grew physically stronger and more present, and now even when Erica can’t make it, I’m getting on the mat on my own. My journey began with showing up for Erica, which created an opening for me to show up for myself – with kindness and love.
- Trying something new benefits from cultivating a playful approach.
- Embracing curiosity and possibility allows for a stretch (whether on or off the mat).
- Sometimes life hands us challenges, and the invitation is to find the opportunities hidden in them.
Look at your top values and ask yourself, “How do I show these to myself?.
Notice your inner critical voice with compassion. How is it trying to keep you safe or to help?
Identify one way to love yourself through your current challenge this week.