Lowering the Bar


Perfectionism has no place in yoga. Unfortunately I like being good at things.

Tonight’s class was tough. I felt like I somehow unknowingly scheduled myself for the advanced class. (Is there an advanced class?) Also: I am not advanced.

But I didn’t get frustrated. I wasn’t a jerk to myself. I didn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed when I fell out poses before anyone else (before everyone else), or when I couldn’t achieve poses at all. (As in: At. All.)

After class, I was thinking about the newfound compassionate acceptance I was wearing around my shoulders.

I remembered a time when, years ago, I signed up for a 5K race that I was unprepared for. It was on the piers of the WestSide Highway in Manhattan and there weren’t many people there – maybe 100. I was so sure I was going to finish last. I didn’t.

And just now, after my poor performance in a Tuesday night yoga class, it finally makes sense. Here’s what I learned:

I put so much pressure on myself that not finishing first feels like the same thing as finishing last. Which it isn’t. And finishing last doesn’t matter anyway. Last is arbitrary. So chill. Lower the bar.



Posted by

Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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