It’s a great idea to accept yourself the way you are – however yoga is an idealistic practice going in the direction of becoming, essentially, perfect. So how is a yogi supposed to deal with that?
It seems like lots of people in the yoga world blow off the perfection part and stick to the self-acceptance – that’s understandable, we live in a culture that is constantly telling us how imperfect we are. If we didn’t believe that, we wouldn’t shop enough. And consumerism is what makes things whirl in a capitalism framework.
But lots of people understand how ludicrous that is and they turn to things like yoga because they want to feel some sense of peace and self-acceptance amidst the hype. So it’s confusing to learn that yoga’s goal is perfection.
It’s also confusing because the culture likes us to think that perfection looks Bradjolina.
There is lots of cash to be made from folks who buy into this ideal. And even if you have examined it and decided it’s not where you want your efforts to lie, you are still living in a culture that holds on deeply to this value.
And also to one that values wealth and intelligence. And we invest serious time and energy in studying and trying to make money so that we can live up to this ideal as well
We might think we are doing a little better than that because we’ve created spiritual ideas that look like this:
And we realize, “There’s no way! I’m not even close to that, I like bacon too much.”
And since I’m not a beautiful, smart, financially successful, or deeply spiritual person, those ideals must all be wrong. What I am is just fine, thanks, and I’m going to go sit on the couch and watch Real Housewives.
But here’s the thing – from the tantric yoga perspective, there is no dichotomy.
In fact, becoming perfect is embedded in who you are through the personal and impersonal process of evolution. The universe is becoming, it moves towards Oneness. You are part of that becoming. You are part of the cosmic flow that spirals around perfection or Oneness. Your choice, in any given moment, is whether to dance towards or away from the center.
The issue is not so much about choosing between perfection or self-acceptance – it’s about recognizing where you are, choosing to love yourself (because, after all, you are the love child of love itself) and then allowing yourself to join in the dance of life – with all its messiness, false starts, missteps, beauty, joys and sorrows.
Recognizing that the path is not always clear or easy, and doesn’t lead in a straight line to perfection, is, essentially, self-acceptance.
Choosing to participate anyway is an incredibly idealistic choice because it, in itself, is the road to perfection.