“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Since elementary age, my answer has always been the same – an artist. The only math I found useful was how much red paint plus blue paint would equal purple paint. The only history I found less than boring was art history. The only thing I loved about science was color theory. Last week, I began studying a new subject. Yet again, appreciating its artistic value.
It was Anatomy week in Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). We were not born perfectly symmetrical. There are no universal principles of alignment. There is no perfect way to do a yoga posture. The most important take away – we are perfect just the way we are.
Our yoga mat is a canvas…our body paints a masterpiece.
At some point, we have all been told, “do not sit like that, it is not good for your knees.” Or some variation of how we will misalign your body by relaxing it or moving it in a certain way over time. But the reality is we were born this way. One leg might be longer, one arm stronger. One hand more dominant, one eye seeing clearer. Therefore, our movements and abilities are natural and authentic based on our body.
"The vast majority of us go through life quite happily and comfortably ‘misaligned’."
Perfection is an illusion.
The practice of yoga is an artistic expression of an individual in space and time. Why try to force our body, ignoring our bone structure, to align exactly like the person on the mat next to us? If we went to a museum, would we want to see a gallery full of paintings all exactly the same? No. Using our body, we practice painting our masterpiece in a way that feels natural and comfortable, unique to us – without seeking perfection.
The Japanese term “wabi sabi” means beautifully imperfect – the very definition of each one of us. Finding comfort in our differences ultimately makes our masterpiece more joyful, satisfied, and balanced.