I don’t believe there’s a person out there who has never thought this to themselves “Am I enough?” The tendency to question things we are told in general is not bad, however questioning our own value, our own abilities, our worthiness, can be. The sense of wanting to be “perfect” (whatever that means), the sense of wanting to please and be liked by everyone, the sense of wanting to succeed at everything, will at times make many of us ask “Am I enough?”
The beauty of starting along the yoga path in my 50’s is that by the time you get to this age, you are hopefully trying to “please” fewer people (read: change yourself to please others) yet you are pleasing most people around you by simply being You.
There is something called the imposter syndrome which some of you may have heard of; in brief, it means being unable to acknowledge what we are good at, feeling unworthy of sharing with others, afraid that we may be exposed as a fake. Many people who start in a new job feel this way. “Do I actually know enough? Will I be able to do my job successfully? Will I be able earn my co-workers or my bosses trust? etc.” When I finished my first 200hr Teacher Training, and before I began teaching, I asked myself these questions a lot. What have I got to share with others that isn’t already out there?
By practicing yoga, and more specifically, by practicing yoga mindfully, we learn that we are enough simply by being. We are each unique and we each have something unique to offer. We are all where we are, for a reason. We learn that we will never be able to please all people, and we learn to be OK with that fact. We learn that the hardest of poses takes years and years of foundational practice, and that nothing is achieved overnight. We learn that we need to be prepared. We can always learn more, but we start with the basics, grow from there, share our knowledge with sincere passion – and then, those who are attracted to our work will react and will remain, and those that are looking for something else will go elsewhere to find that. And again, we learn to be OK with that.
When I share yoga with others, I don’t have this crazy need to teach the most complex of poses. I teach with a belief that the basics (read: the breath, the body alignment, and the mindfulness) will do much more to carry us through in our daily stress-filled lives, than the ability to stand on our head or on one arm (although these look really good on Instagram!)
I am passionate about teaching proper alignment (which often is shown in the most basic of poses), and I am convinced that practicing these postures with skill, with mindful breathing, will have long term value in peoples lives.
For those that are entering the yoga world through the door labelled “Physical”, looking for that arm-balance challenge, that is what will satisfy them, and that is what they should go with! For those of us looking more to balance all the demands of our lives, yoga will constantly remind us that everything in this world, including balance, is temporary. It’s found in one moment, it’s held for a moment or two, it feels amazing, and then it’s gone – until the next time. Being OK in that one wonderful moment, is what it’s all about.
Getting to that place in your mind, where You are enough – to me, that is the ultimate yoga. ♥