I am literally addicted to arm balances. As I practice primarily Ashtanga and I am lucky if I get a full 90 minutes of practice time every day, I don’t have a lot of time to practice arm balances (like Eka Pada Koudinyasana, my new favorite pose! (above)). I typically do them in passing during the day, just to see “if I can.” Sometimes I fall flat on my face. But other times my balance and strength come together in just the right way and I find myself successfully keeping my feet off the ground and it feels like flying. Sometimes I don’t even feel how hard my arms are working to keep myself there; there is just bliss.
And then I fall. And then I spread out on my mat and try to calm my breath. And then, when I try the pose again, my arms buckle under my weight. But the next day, I get up and do it again. And again, the next day. And I find myself in balance just a little bit longer. Each asana is just a little bit easier. While I would love to be able to instantly find myself in each pose I scroll past on Instagram, I am grateful that it takes a lot of time and effort to find myself in “challenging” asanas for even a short time. I appreciate that I have to work toward improving myself, and I appreciate that success does not come easy. Because I love this journey I have found myself taking. The journey of Ashtanga yoga, the journey of figuring out who I am and what I am meant to do to be the best version of myself.
I hope that I never find myself at my destination. I hope I am always striving for improvement. I hope I never think of myself as having “finished” yoga. We are never finished with yoga, just as we are never finished making ourselves our most awesome possible selves.
The goal is not the goal. The journey is the goal.