I used to have the misconception that Yoga was something strict and unchangeable. When I was a newer practitioner, I had so many misconceptions about the kind of person you had to be to be “legit” – vegan, celibate, in an endless good mood, strong in asana practice, and physically lean like most yogis were. Yoga felt like an impossible standard that I was trying to achieve. It took a good amount of time before I realized what Yoga was really about.
For anyone who has truly dived into Yoga’s history and Philosophy, part of why It has been around for so long is because it has adapted to the changing times and cultures. Yoga doesn’t need a prerequisite for anyone to take part in it because it exists for us to figure ourselves out. We do Yoga to connect to ourselves and peel away the layers what keep us from realizing we’re already complete. If you practice Yoga to “add on” to who you are, believe me when I say this might not be the route. Yoga is a practice that helps you explore and realize that you are more than enough exactly as you are. The practice teaches us to burn away what keeps us from seeing ourselves as whole.
It is definitely a process. And over a decade into this practice, I still have a lot of things to figure out and let go of. One thing that keeps me going is remembering that I have to take things one moment at a time. Mindfulness in my asana practice, my ability to be non-reactive, and a steady sitting practice helps too. Yoga doesn’t need us to be perfect. It doesn’t ask us to be anyone else except who we are. And the truth is? It’s a pretty fun process.