it is a disease, to be sure, but often i feel like i have to be the valedictorian of everything. if i'm not 100% perfect, then i must be doing something wrong. as my friend becky would say, "you must have had a difficult toilet training."
so, even though it goes completely against the entire philosophy of yoga, i have to be the best at it. there is a reason why the act of yoga is called "practice." we are not meant to be perfect -- ever. it is a lifelong practice. but, me? i soldier on, trying to make myself perfect anyway.
i've begun taking yoga at my office on my lunch hour and the instructor is the most high-energy teacher i've ever encountered. she likes to tell folks that their poses are "10s!" the first few classes the valedictorian side of me reveled in the constant praise she doled out. then, after a little while it made me self-conscious. because, if any of you know me very well or feel like you do from what i write here, you know that although i love adoration, i don't really dig attention being drawn to me. if you wrote a little note on my research paper about how you liked a particular point i'd made or spoke to me quietly in the corner to tell me you liked my dress, i'd eat that up. but call me out in front of class or with a lot of people standing around and i melt into a pile of perspiring mush.
on wednesday i formulated a strategy for avoiding being called out in yoga class. the plan included arriving perilously close to late (something i abhor) and situating my mat in the back of the class. it worked like a charm...until, that is, i realized i hadn't been praised at all. i felt dejected. weird, huh?
becky suggested that i welcome the praise, that i embrace it and own it, because, well, i deserve it. and that's when it dawned on me...i didn't think i deserved it. damn! that becky -- she's good.
so my assignment for monday's class is to welcome the praise...if it comes, that is, and if it doesn't? then know that i am still doing fine. just fine. this is just practice after all.
sounds easy, right? i'll let you know on tuesday.