I’m not sure why I decided to start a whole new movement of charity based, outdoor yoga here in New Zealand or at exactly what moment I thought I would be a good idea to add something else to my full schedule, but I did. Self imposed pressure, more of it.
And the lovely student who walked into my class and said I could have done power yoga today but I thought, no, it’s Sunday, so I opted for the gentler class, was a reminder about how often we impose pressure on ourselves. Sometimes for no good reason.
We push ourselves into the fullest extent of the poses, we take on more work, we say yes to everyone. When we have a free moment instead of resting, we rush to fill the gap like water rushing in on the tide. We say to ourselves that to be fully validated as humans we need to push more, do more, succeed more.
Why? Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect. However this is a bar that can never be reached. Once we reach it we just move the finish line out a wee bit more and grasp for that. Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to be the best. We do this so people will admire us or compliment us and see that we are really able and good at something. Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to do everything. We do this so we can retain control of our worlds. We pressure ourselves to be fitter, leaner, faster, more capable and more successful.
Too much pressure on a joint in our body will cause that joint to collapse over time .Too much pressure in our lives will cause your life to collapse. It is true we are here to evolve but we are not here to push or struggle. Struggling is a sign you are moving through life without a mindfulness about how to balance your everyday pressures.
Practice for today: Where in your life can you give yourself a bit of a break and say ‘enough now, I have done my best’. Or where can you step back and let others do some work to help out. There are many ways of just relaxing and flowing and taking the struggle out of your life instead of head-butting your way upstream. Find time today to plan what it is you can drop so you can find something more delightful to pick up. If you are going to put pressure on yourself do it for your own evolution in the most beautiful way possible.