A Year of Yoga Metamorphosis
Navigating the Subtle Transformations of a Year's Journey - By Jen Rene
Reading time: 4 minutes
In a recent yoga class, I shared a reflection with a dedicated student I've had the privilege of guiding for years. As she gracefully executed a posture that once seemed insurmountable just a year ago, I couldn't help but emphasize a valuable lesson from my extensive experience in teaching and practicing yoga: what appears impossible is merely a triumph waiting to unfold.
From the present moment's vantage point, it's effortless to lose sight of the profound distances we traverse. Our achieved goals seamlessly blend into the fabric of our new normal as we settle into transformed lives, practices, and perspectives, often overlooking the remarkable journey that brought us to our current state of being.
Upon reviewing the culmination of a year's endeavors, it's tempting to underestimate the progress made, whether over the span of one year or several. Despite the monotony that may characterize individual days, the amalgamation of these seemingly ordinary moments reveals a cumulative effect, showcasing the profound changes we undergo.
The subtle transformation of settling into our current reality often erases the vivid memories of how things once were. Reflecting on my own journey, I can scarcely recall the sensation of my hamstrings resembling rigid metal cables when I transitioned to a morning practice. The initial self-consciousness I felt entering the Mysore room has become a distant echo, much like the routine of looking up the next posture before stepping into the shala. The discomfort in my lower back during the exploration of deep back bends and the perpetual exhaustion in my arms during the early days of practicing arm balances have faded into the recesses of memory.
The subtlety of progress often eludes our immediate awareness because it unfolds gradually over extended periods, seamlessly integrating into our everyday lives. As I've observed, this nuanced transformation characterizes the essence of true change.
This tendency to overlook our growth extends beyond the yoga mat. Personally, I've nearly forgotten the version of myself from a few years ago—residing on the opposite coast, grappling with personal dissatisfaction, and hesitating to embrace change. Now, the recollection of my confined and lonely-hearted past self is almost alien.
When we attain our aspirations, they seamlessly weave into our new reality, and we forget to appreciate the magnitude of our achievements. Therefore, as we bid farewell to the current year, I encourage you to conduct a thoughtful inventory of your triumphs and consciously relish in them. Take a moment to put pen to paper, acknowledging the substantial distance you've covered. Allow this awareness to inspire and uplift you.
My heartfelt suggestion to you is to recognize and savor how far you've journeyed. It's easy to overlook the relentless effort that brought you to this moment. By consciously reveling in your triumphs, regardless of their scale, you not only enhance your capacity for joy but also beckon more success into your life—both on and off the mat.
Therefore, I extend the same sentiment to you: I hope you genuinely recognize the profound distance you've traveled because, amid the daily grind, it's effortless to forget the arduous yet transformative work that has brought you to where you are right now.