YOGA: Practise Off The Mat

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Sometimes in yoga practise everything is really hard. For long periods of time you feel like you’re getting nowhere and more often than not you’re just landing flat on your face. “Why do I bother?”, you wonder to yourself, completely forgetting in your darker moments that all this practise is in fact progress; progress so small you can’t even see it. Until one day you relax, release, and go with the flow, and you get that arm balance or back band, and the reason for your struggle becomes clear.

It’s just like life, off the mat. Lately I’ve been trying hard with job applications, sometimes filling in up to ten a day, and I’ve been going to three interviews a week. Each rejection (or even non-response) has seen my self esteem come crashing down further and further, even if I wasn’t even all that bothered about said job.

Truth be told, I’ve probably been trying too hard. I know well enough that you shouldn’t pin your self worth on any one aspect of yourself, yet here I was, wondering whether I was good enough: in tears to my boyfriend every other day, jumping every time my phone rang, constantly feeling sick. That is, until I let go. I stopped trying to control everything, opened my mind and my heart, and explored a few different avenues. How about just volunteering, meeting some people and enjoying yourself? Or how about working in retail for a while – for the market you want to work in, mind, and get some insider knowledge? Or how about a Masters degree..?

The big difference between life and yoga practise is that life isn’t a practise, and whilst it’s true you need to give it everything you’ve got sometimes you just need to trust in the process and believe that nothing lasts forever, good or bad. Have a goal, but remember there isn’t a singular route towards that goal (or: there’s more than one way to transition into a posture). Better things are a-coming.

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