I’ve always said my stubbornness is both my best and my worst trait. Just about anything I’ve accomplished in this lifetime, it’s because I’ve been too stubborn to admit defeat. A prime example? The morning before I did the test for my driver’s licence I was practicing parallel parking, in tears of frustration, when my instructor told me “this is a waste of time, you’re not ready.” Um – excuse me? I got my damn licence that day just to spite her, and since then have become an excellent parallel parker. (Just sayin’.)
Of course, my stubbornness also gets me in trouble occasionally. I’ll continue arguing past the point where I realize I’m wrong, I’ll refuse to do/go/eat things “on principle”, and I’ll keep trying a yoga pose until I can do it, even if that involves bruises and curse words.
My current struggle? Backbends. Scorpion pose in particular, though it’s also becoming one of my favorites, makes me want to scream. WHY CAN’T MY STUPID TOES TOUCH MY HEAD?? As sure as I am while I’m upside down that I’m just millimetres away, when I take a picture to check, I’m dismayed by how much further I need to bend. My toes are nowhere near where I thought. I’ve been practicing this forever – WHY CAN’T I DO IT YET?
Just after a recent one of those frustration fits, I was scrolling through my iPhone camera roll when I came across a picture from about a year ago, of me practicing the same pose. Suddenly the current version wasn’t so disappointing – I couldn’t believe the difference. I could remember the day I took that first picture, too. I was sure I’d have bruises left on my face from all my failed attempts. Clearly, in the past year I’ve been too stubborn to let that stop me. Also clearly, my stubbornness has paid off.
Why am I writing this? Just as a reminder I guess, to myself as well, that yoga – like everything else in life – is a work in progress. You get better a little bit at a time – don’t expect miracles overnight. Stay stubborn, and don’t give up. You got dis.