In this piece Tanya Taylor asks us to think of awareness of the present moment as a state of abundance. To value the practice of mindfulness over a concept of perfection is to live out this awareness.
Tanya’s Mindful Yoga class features an opening and closing meditation along with a series of poses accessible to all levels of student. Come to class prepared to develop heightened awareness of the breath, proper alignment in postures, and a balance of strength and flexibility in your body and mind.
Tanya’s leads Mindful Yoga every Monday at 6:30 a.m. in the Loft.
Improve Productivity! Decrease Anxiety! Sleep Through The Night! Be Beautiful Inside and
There are a plethora of sources available that tout the benefits of incorporating yoga and
meditation into daily life. Often, these articles or videos make it seem like the practice is a cure-
all. Spend enough time on the mat and you will be better, more enlightened, more able to
control your impulses and make healthy decisions.
All of the above may result from a person’s decision to take up a mindfulness practice. It is
beautiful to experience the calm that can come from a fifteen minute meditation or the burst of
vitality following a ninety minute asana class. Frequently, we emerge from these sessions
refreshed and able to navigate our daily lives with increased confidence and clarity.
Sometimes, however, we are left frustrated or tired, wondering what went wrong. Why wouldn’t
those thoughts stop churning? Why did the teacher leave the class in triangle pose for so long?
Why did breathing and balance seem so difficult? Why, after days or months or years of
practicing, isn’t life perfectly blissful yet? Worse, why isn’t life blissfully perfect? All of these
points of concern or doubt are of value. When we embrace and honor the seemingly imperfect
moments, we gain insight and the opportunity for growth.
Throughout September, the focus of Monday Mindful Yoga sessions will be ahimsa, the yogic
principle of non-harming and compassionate awareness. We will apply this principle as we
develop our capacity for meditation, our willingness to dwell in the present, and our ability to
enjoy the natural ebb and flow of the practice.
In mindfulness, it is key to remember that practice is better than perfection. Practice involves
steady, compassionate, and devoted commitment to understanding one’s self and one’s
surroundings as they are in this moment and on this day. Perfection is fragile and tenuous. To
make it the goal of your practice seems, to me, a guarantee for disappointment. When we let
go of the need to be perfect, when we detach from the desire to capture something that is
ultimately short-lived, we begin to receive the full benefits of mindfulness.