Sometimes there are 2 people on my mat. This is not ideal. There’s the now me, the one who should have eaten less and practiced more in the preceding week. The one who can’t seem to put weight into her hands in chakrasana and continuously bungles the jumpback from bhujapidasana. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Somewhere behind me, or a bit to the side, there is a shining, glowing version of myself. The one I can see out of the corner of my eye. The one who manages effortless, seemingly weightless transitions. It’s my potential self, who binds in places I can’t bind and who calls on reserves of strength and energy she has built up over a week of eating and living in a way that supports her practice.
The real me, who stayed up too late after a glass of wine/ really good movie/ vampire coyote shape shifting mass fiction novel, doesn’t quite have those reserves available, is clunkier and less focused than the woman I imagine, but more solid and real.
I am grateful for the ethereal version of myself, without her I would never have the courage or the wherewithal to grow, to learn to jump through, to breath when things get difficult.
But sometimes I cling to that ideal to the point of denigrating the actual me. To seeing my potential self as a should, as another stick to beat myself with when I don’t measure up.
Perhaps at some point, perhaps even this Summer, the two selves will be more closely in alignment. Perhaps I will learn to live more comfortably in my skin.