I have flirted with many. I have dipped my toe in, and tested them for size. But this weekend, I met my match.
I have, I think, found a style of yoga that really speaks to me. And, even better, I have found my tribe. I spent this weekend, surrounded by others who speak my language: Ours is the language of xi, fascia, meridians and Sanskrit.
Yin prioritises function over aesthetics. It is about the HOW rather than the WHAT. And this is why I have fallen in love.
I am never going to be super bendy. I have plenty of strength, and whilst I will, if I continue to practice regularly, develop greater flexibility I need to acknowledge my mechanical limitations. These are non-negotiable. They are, after all, part of my genetic inheritance: I was not born to bendy folk.
But within those limitations, I can still achieve a perfect practice. For this is where the subtle but all important difference is made. Yin focuses on the intention with which we step onto the mat.
It is our intention that shapes our attitude. And its our attitude that determines the results. I practice yoga not for physical flexibility but for the psychospiritual benefits I derive from encountering myself through the asanas.
By getting caught up in the nuances of precise alignment, there is a great risk that we lose the point of yoga which was not, until very recently, ever conceived of as a physical workout. Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. And, when we place this as the explicit aim of our practice there is far more room to celebrate each person's and each body's unique beauty and potential. Us not-ever-going-to-be-bendys included.