It's my understanding that yoga can be defined as "union" or "integration" or "oneness". I love practicing yoga and I love practicing my religion, and I find them to be related. Yoga has taught me to be a more patient Christian, I believe. Here is how:

In life, I often feel pressure to get things done perfectly, to be perfect. Work products must be perfect, interactions with others must be perfect, my daily routines and thoughts must be perfect, etc. Or, at least, excellent.

In my yoga practice, though, when I fail, I fail spectacularly. And often! By that I mean I fall out of poses and slowly topple to the ground, look ridiculous, or can't even come close to the poses that my teachers or others are in. When I fail epically,  instead of being frustrated, I laugh. I laugh out loud. This isn't some decision I made to grin and bear it - it's just what happens. It's maybe the most naturally joyful I am - failing spectacularly at yoga. I think it's because in yoga I know that falling or not meeting some outside standard isn't the point of the practice at all. It's the doing, the practice, the being. But I don't even think about it that much, to tell the truth. I just fall and laugh.

This epic failure reminds me, as St. Benedict said, that's we're all just beginners. Maybe "failing" isn't so bad or so serious, and maybe showing grace to myself (and others) is the appropriate way to be.


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