We were on our mats with one leg nestled underneath us and the other out in front. We’d just gotten into the basic posture and then my teacher, Rodney Yee, said, “Straighten your front leg any amount.”
He didn’t say straighten your front leg.
He didn’t say get that leg as straight as you possibly can.
He didn’t say get it perfectly straight.
He didn’t say if your leg isn’t straight you might as well not bother because that means you suck at yoga and life.
He said any amount.
I felt instantly more relaxed. I felt instantly more hopeful about my hamstrings. I felt held. I felt like I was enough.
How often have you not done something because you didn’t think you could do it perfectly?
Our obsessed-with-achievement culture has us feeling like if it’s not perfect, don’t bother.
We’ve lost touch with the joy of just a little, with the satisfaction of one step in the right direction, with the beauty of slow progress, and the value of making any amount of effort.
Going to yoga and straightening your leg any amount is better than not going to yoga because you can’t get your legs perfectly straight. I guarantee you’ll get more health and emotional benefits from practicing with less-than-perfectly-straight legs than you will from staying at home on the couch or at your desk.
Any amount of kindness is better than no kindness. Any amount of compassion is better than no compassion. Any amount of learning is better than no learning. Any amount of effort is better than no effort.
Don’t let the fact that you can’t do something perfectly or at 110% stop you from doing it at all. Don’t sit out the game because you think you’re not going to win.
What can you give any amount of effort to today that yesterday you wouldn’t have even attempted because you didn’t think you could do it perfectly? Let me know in the comments!
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