Whoever keeps God’s word, in [them] truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in God.
1 John 2:5 ESV
“The secret to loving others despite their imperfections is loving ourselves despite ours.”
L. R. K. Nost
Witnessing the imperfect nature of our world, our nation, and our communities, one might conclude that we have no need to practice imperfection; we’re already quite perfect at being imperfect. The practice of embracing our imperfection, however, has to do with identifying that which is imperfect in ourselves and owning it in such a way that it teaches us to acknowledge our shared humanity with those we may dislike or with whom we may disagree.
In the early years of yoga in the West, most teacher trainings revolved around cues intended to help the student achieve the perfect pose. A cue that freed many students and instructors from this notion, liberating them to experience the true benefits of yoga, was attributed to Baron Baptiste when he pointed out, “There is no perfect pose.” There is indeed no perfect pose . . . except the one that is right for you in your body.
In faith we are called to be one people, united in God’s love. Truth be told, God loves us just as we are: as an imperfect and broken humanity. God does not leave us in our brokenness, however; God is always about the business of restoring and reclaiming us back into loving relationship with Godself and with each other. We participate in the relationship by loving ourselves—imperfections and all—and loving our neighbors just as they are. Practice owning your yoga practice right where you are; rest in the perfect knowledge of God’s love, and watch the world change!
Inhale | Loved
Exhale | as I Am
Focus Pose: Boat, navasana, is a pose that I longed for years to perfect. With arms and legs both long and lifted, the pose when traditionally executed makes it look as though you are ready to levitate off the ground! As time passed I viewed with increasing dissatisfaction my inability to straighten my legs in the pose. I found myself so frustrated, in fact, that for a time I even stopped practicing it. And then something happened. I let go of my expectations and personal judgments about how I should be doing the pose and instead embraced how I was doing it. And do you know what? Doing Boat pose with my legs bent turned out to be just fine. After all these years of striving to perfect it I finally found the pose, MY Boat. This week, practice a pose that has been frustrating you. Let go of expectations and judgment and find the pose, just as you are.