In yoga recently (can't actually remember if it was last night's class or one of the classes this past weekend, but I thought about it in class, and more this morning), the instructor said something along these lines:
Try. Try the posture. Even if you can't do it all the way, you need to try. It's not just going to magically happen one day. You have to work at it. You get 1% better one day, and 1% better some other day, eventually that's how you make progress. Standing it out, watching it, not trying is not going to get you any closer. Just try it. Don't think about it, just try.
And I've been thinking about it a lot ever since. I look at some people around me in yoga and they look like natural yogis. The same way there are runners who can so effortlessly maintain a pace I struggle to hold for even just one mile.
I think on some level, I assume they can just easily stand on one leg, lock their standing knee, kick their other leg forward, flex their foot, lower their elbows below their calf, and touch their forehead to their knee.
That's the case for runners -- some people can easily and without training run at a pace that others could run for years and never attain. But hard effort is the same for everyone -- not the same pace, but the same effort. 100% effort is hard. And I think yoga in some ways might be more about effort.
When I had fallen out and was looking around during the second set, gathering my strength to make another attempt, I looked at the woman right in front of me. She had what I think of as a perfect yoga body, in perfect yoga clothes, and she was totally rocking the posture. She had her standing leg locked. She was lowering her elbows, tucking her forehead to her knee. And I noticed her standing foot was shifting a little bit. Different muscles and tendons seemed to be popping out in her standing leg.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
This isn't necessarily easy for her.
Just because she can do the posture doesn't mean she's not working very hard to hold it.
It doesn't mean she could do it her first day (maybe she could of course).
It doesn't mean she can do it every set, every day (maybe she can).
Maybe she's not working at it, maybe it is fairly easy, maybe she's always been able to do it, maybe she can do it every time she tries. But maybe not.
But all that's definite is I'm never going to be able to do it if I don't try every class.
It's not going to just magically happen one day if I never work at it.
Hmmm.... deep thoughts.