As a perfectionist, I know that often times it is hard to start something new. When you just start out with something, you won’t be great or even good at it. That can be hard to accept if you are a perfectionist and it’s easy to quit and move onto something new, hoping it will be different. Overcoming perfectionism can be hard. Yoga was the first thing that helped me break through the perfectionist tendencies and accept that perfection is not the goal.
Overcoming Perfectionism with Yoga
1. Yoga is a journey. There is no end goal for me to try to get to. Do I want to improve in my yoga? Yes. But, even if I wanted to reach perfection in yoga, it doesn’t exist. There is no perfect yogi. This has really helped me to slow down and enjoy the journey.
2. Yoga takes time. It’s not something that can be rushed. You need to put in the time and dedication if you want to improve. It’s impossible to be an expert without the time and dedication. And because it’s impossible to be an expert in the beginning, I can let go of the urge to be perfect.
3. When you get involved in a yoga community, you surround yourself with kind and accepting people. It’s easy to get caught up with perfection when you feel that everyone around you is judging. In the yoga world, you are surrounded with acceptance. There is an understanding in this community that everyone is at their own place with yoga. There isn’t the pressure to “one-up” others. You are accepted for where you are at.
4. It forces me to take “me time.” It is the time of the day that I focus only on me. As a perfectionist, it can be easy to spend your whole day helping others around you. Yoga is a time for me. Period.
5. Two words: stress management. I don’t know about you, but I feel like my perfectionism and stress go hand in hand. This is threefold; before, during, and after my practice, yoga acts as my stress management.
Yoga for Stress Management
Before yoga, I look forward to it. In stressful moments of my day, I can remind myself that in a few hours I will have only my practice to focus on.
During yoga, I learn to stay calm while under stress. While I was showing my husband some of the new poses I had learned, he said, “Cool, but why would you do that if you didn’t need to? Isn’t is uncomfortable?” I explained to him that a big part of yoga is breathing and staying calm even when you are put into an uncomfortable position. That really resonated with him. Ever since then I feel like he is more interested in practicing yoga himself. Practicing staying calm in an uncomfortable situation is something that I really benefit from. It has helped me on and off the mat.
After yoga, I feel amazing. Both my body and mind feel great after yoga. I am more relaxed and have more energy. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true!
6. Yoga is humbling. In class, there will be poses that you can do decently. Then your instructor will have you switch to something that doesn’t come nearly as easy. It can be disappointing. It’s good for me to feel this disappointment. During these times, I can focus on being content with where I am at.
I would highly recommend starting a regular yoga practice if you are a perfectionist like me. If you are interested in doing yoga more regularly, you can read about my journey to a daily practice.