Friday, March 12, 2010

The art of perfection

You may have noticed that my blog has undergone a redesign since my last post. In fact, if you checked it last night, you'd have noticed that it went through six or seven redesigns! I was up well past my bedtime trying to find the perfect look for my blog. Which got me thinking about my approach to most things in life -- I'm a perfectionist.

Back in grade school, I'd rewrite my essays by hand over and over again if I made one mistake. As a graduate student, I'd stay up all hours of the night trying to craft the perfect sentence for my thesis. When I began my career, I’d work obscene hours to ensure the work I produced was flawless. I've eased up on myself since those days, but my perfectionist tendencies still exist and are definitely at play in my Bikram Yoga practice.

Last fall I started to think about Teacher Training, but I convinced myself I wasn't ready because I hadn't mastered all the poses yet. I fall out when I try to touch my forehead to my knee in Dandayamana - JanuShirasana and can't for the life of me hold Dandayamana - Dhanurasana for a full 60 seconds. When one of the teachers at my studio asked if I was considering Teacher Training, I explained that I didn't think I was good enough. She was surprised by my answer and told me I had one of the strongest practices she'd seen, much stronger than hers had been when she had ventured off to training. After hearing that, I started to look around at other people (even though you shouldn't compare yourself) and realized that I do have a great practice, which Teacher Training will only help me "perfect."

In the case of Bikram yoga, I see perfection as an art — it’s a process I’m going through to master the series. And even if I never am able to stay in standing bow for a full 60 seconds, the journey I’m on to get there is transforming me and making me a stronger person.


  1. Excellent!

    I had a similar experience myself recently. One teacher told me I should try advanced and another suggested I compete. Both of these ideas seemed absurd to me because I still fall out regularly or have to sit out a set on certain days.

    I'm beginning to realize that the dialogue is what to do but that not even teachers do all of it perfectly every day. There is ALWAYS forward movement for everyone! The journey IS the perfection!

  2. You've captured it perfectly Prodigal Yogini: The journey IS the perfection! Thanks for sharing that!