I’m a workout kind of girl. I LOVE working out, especially running, especially in the summer, especially when it’s hot and the sun is shining. You see I am efficient. As in, if I am running while it’s sunny, I’m also getting some sun on my legs. I hope my dermatologist isn’t listening because I know I shouldn’t want sun, but I do. I actually love it and I thrive in efficiencies.

It’s far for my husband to understand. He is really good at one thing at a time. To be fair, most of us are. We really are only good enough to focus on one thing at a time, and to do something well, that is probably a good rule of thumb. But nevertheless, we still try to be efficient! For example, I will try to cook dinner in between flipping loads of laundry. Sometimes things burn. Or I will talk on the phone while driving. Sometimes I get off the phone call and have no idea what I said I would do.

All this to say, the idea of yoga is beyond me. I mean, I want to like it. I feel drawn to it, but I just can’t commit. I think it’s because it’s so slow, so focused. I’m not good at being quiet in my head. So really the only time I’ll do yoga is when I’m on vacation and I don’t have a to-do list of 15 things.

Recently I was on vacation with my family and my girls and my mom and I signed up for a yoga class ocean front. It was amazing right? The best views I’ve ever seen, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, a salty breeze blowing through my hair. It was lovely.

I’ll tell you that over my lifetime when I’m in front of my kids, I am the positive, enthusiastic participant in whatever activity we are doing. I want them to want to do try new things, to want to overcome their fears and anxieties and try lots of things, without fear. Sometimes, though, when we are snorkeling over a shipwreck in jelly fish invested ocean waters, I am silently screaming into my snorkel while outwardly delighting in the colorful fish and sea turtles. I may be looking over my shoulder for a shark fin, but they think I’m having the time of my life.

So I attempted, I say attempted loosely, because yoga is hard. I’m not flexible and I don’t do it often and so I’m just really not very good at it. But the more I worked through this class with the gently encouragement of our instructor, I felt some tension release, some stress alleviate. I forgot the to-do list I’d been checking off and just leaned into the practice.

And my favorite part came at the very end, the close of this session. We’re laying on our backs looking up a a tropical cloudless sky in corpse pose, and our instructor is leading us through a meditation I’d never heard before. She said things like, “thank your feet for carrying you through your day, through your life up to this point.” Be grateful for where you are right this moment, not where you should be or where you want to go, but where you are right now. She kept this same tempo as she worked up my legs to my arms, “Be grateful for all your hands and arms have carried up to this point. Don’t want for anything more, just be grateful for all you have right now.” As we moved toward relaxing our torso and chest, she said “be grateful for the breath in your lungs, for every breath you have taken to this point.” “You are perfect right where you are, right now, in this very moment. She talked about relaxing my lips, my ears, my mouth, and reminded me to rest in everything I have said and heard and seen up to this point. It is perfect, where I am right now, right at this moment. There is nothing more to want or strive for.

I loved this. I need this.  It was so freeing, so gentle. You see, in my chase for efficiencies and for perfection, I sometimes forget to just BE. Just be grateful for where I’ve come, for how much my body has done for me up to this point, be amazed with every breath I’ve taken to this point, all the beauty I have seen, the encouragement and kindness that has been spoken to me, and that I have spoken to others.

Why is it called practice? Is it getting better at the positions or more flexible? Maybe? But I think it’s more about practicing your breathing, your peace, your relaxation. Letting your mind go and just being, being. Not mom, wife, dentist, friend, sister, none of those. Just being alive, free, perfect, still. Don’t you just love that word, still? I do. It makes me just feel at peace.

My favorite scripture is “BE still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 It’s less about the doing, and more about the still, the being.

Brene Brown, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, says this “Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

It was here, in this vinyasa, that I realized, maybe yoga is for me. I may never be perfect or flexible or be able to get into some of those fancy positions, but I am good enough right now, and every day I move forward,  I make progress and move closer to finding my true joy.

Whether it’s in your yoga practice, or in some other aspect of your life. I hope you recognize your worth right now, right where you are, and find your true joy this week.