Today, while doing a yoga video, I noticed the instructor made a mistake.
Before I get into what, exactly, that mistake was, it should be noted that I have been working on containing my judgmental, non-compassionate, overall generally bitchy self. I do come to the mat, so-to-speak, several times a week with a general intention to let it all go and achieve enlightenment. But the reality is that while I’m letting my physical body move around, groove and release all my “stuck energy”, my mind holds onto self-defeating patterns, habits, and expectations.
So this morning, while trying to quiet my “monkey mind” and redirect the chatter in my head, I noticed the instructor said Ustrasana (Camel Pose) instead of Uttanasana (Forward Fold). My first thought was to turn off the video because, of course, this teacher could no longer be trusted: she had MADE A MISTAKE! Then I wanted to criticize someone for not editing the mistake. Then the website for obviously having no standards. And on, and on.
In a moment of clarity (holding down dog for 2 minutes helps), I asked myself where did I get the idea that making mistakes should be equated with incompetence? In fact, just the other day I had a “moment” on the yoga mat and started crying because the instructor said that nobody was judging us, that we were all doing just what we needed to do. And wasn’t it beautiful? I’m not sure “beautiful” was the word I had in mind as I noticed that it looked like there was a small spot of dried cat vomit on my yoga mat. Nice.
But yes, it was beautiful to rid myself of the judgment that yoga has to look a certain way.
As I exhaled into down dog and “hugged my shoulders down my back” (what does that even mean?), I realized how enlightened I was becoming. I could forgive someone for making a mistake! Wow. What a grown up.
Continuing my ujjayi pranayama, feeling like I had let go of all my judgments, I looked up to the screen, only to see a rather distracting case of camel toe. Really distracting. I immediately worried that I would no longer be considered a feminist because wasn’t I objectifying women or something? Then I reassured myself that if this was a male instructor displaying moose knuckle, I would be equally distracted.
Exhaling into chaturanga, I vowed not to look at my computer screen for the rest of the class. I would just listen to the instructions. Until…
Until I noticed that the instructor seemed to be doing something weird with her mouth or the microphone was to close or she needed a drink of water. If you know me, you know how irritated I get when people make mouth noises. I have been working on this for years and have realized that I can’t be in the same room with certain people (you know who you are) when they eat or drink. I have been known to ask students to leave my class because they are making too many mouth noises while we are doing in class writing.
I know, I’m crazy! I totally get how absurd all of this sounds. Now do you see why I need to do yoga? Every day? I really need to release all this stuff contained inside!
Today’s lesson: Let go of what I am trying so hard to contain. These reactions to others are irrational and serve nobody. Release the desire to be RIGHT. Plus, nobody wants to be around someone who criticizes them for drinking too loudly; at least that’s what my husband says!
Please excuse all typos and terseness–I woke up too early today.