Do you tend to get frustrated with your body when it doesn’t move the way you want it to? How often have you been in a class (yoga or otherwise) and watched the teacher or instructor and thought - “I could never do that?!” We’ve all done it. I’ve done!
As someone who is passionate about moving my body and learning how to control it, I’ve come to realise that (generally speaking) there is nothing I can do which you can’t do also. I often have students get frustrated with their bodies because it’s not folding how they would like, or a knee is causing some pain. What I want to highlight is the importance of recognising and accepting that we all have different bodies, with different areas to work on, but in time the body will begin to become more and more under your control. For example, whilst your hips may be tight today, tomorrow they will be a little looser and you may be able to fold that little bit further. These are little but very important personal wins.
When you look at a teacher and appreciate their strength, flexibility, knowledge etc, I think it’s important to recognise two things. One, is that you too can learn to move the same way. Everyone needs to start somewhere and with time and commitment to your practice, every day your body will reach new heights. You will learn to play with your body, explore how it feels, notice where it’s tense, what areas need more attention, what foods are making the body feel uncomfortable. This is all body awareness and it comes through this journey. With better self awareness, you will learn to explore deeper parts of self and really notice changes both physically and mentally.
The second is to remember that the teacher is also a student like you. Of course I am in the role of teacher whilst at the front of a class guiding my students, however deep down I will forever consider myself a student also. Whilst my students don’t see me training (or you don’t see your teachers training), every morning I too am practicing, working through areas of tension, learning to breathe deeply, build strength and flexibility. Teachers are facing the same challenges and hurdles as you every day. I feel this is really important for practitioners/students to remember as it can be very empowering as you too can reach the same heights as the person guiding you there.
At the end of the day, if today your body doesn’t want to go somewhere, don’t force it. Listen to it and respect it. It may be something to try tomorrow instead - and that’s ok. Just know, that you are always progressing. Always.